Ways to Celebrate Humanae Vitae at 45—and Beyond! | Sr. Renee Mirkes | HPR
This article began as a response to priests’ and deacons’ requests for a model homily on a moral means of family planning.
On July 25, 2013, the Church marked the 45th anniversary of the promulgation of the encyclical Humanae Vitae. Over the past four decades, parish priests have been looking for ways to make the teaching of Humanae Vitae real in the lives of their parishioners. How can we engage our flocks with a teaching so rich and yet so personal? Where do we go for the resources that will help us draw our parishioners into the beauty and fruitfulness of conjugal love?
This essay aims to answer these questions by offering resources to help you, as a parish priest, to celebrate the encyclical’s teaching on the meaning of marriage, sexuality, and family planning. First, appreciate, show support for, and spread the word about the Humanae Vitae–inspired work of Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers. In and through his 38 years of clinical research in human reproduction, Dr. Hilgers has answered—and surpassed—Humanae Vitae’s mandate to medical scientists, viz., to perfect family planning methods that help couples confidently regulate their fertility in a moral way. Together with his colleagues at the Pope Paul VI Institute, Hilgers has developed a prospective, standardized system of family planning—the Creighton Model FertilityCareTM System (hereafter, CrM FCS)—that’s the hub of the comprehensive, versatile (and thoroughly Catholic) women’s health science of NaProTECHNOLOGY. With its capacity to confidently identify the fertile and infertile phases of the reproductive cycle, the CrM FCS enables couples to achieve, and avoid, a pregnancy as the circumstances of their marriage dictate. It also empowers women to maintain and monitor their gyn-ecology so they can pursue effective diagnostic and treatment measures to optimize their reproductive health.
Second, it is to celebrate the encyclical’s theoretical/practical truth, preach a homily on the very philosophy and theology that initially motivated Dr. Hilgers to develop the Creighton Model.