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placeholder Renewed direction
for family planning

10 reasons
to use NFP

new saint

St. Elizabeth High principal: 'These kids deserve the best'

Character, high standards goal for
new school principal

'Candidacy membership'

Jubilarian Father
Sloan celebrates
50th year

Theology schools
plan V2 50th anniversary series

Proposition 8
backers appeal

Bishop Cummins:
At the beginnings
of Second Vatican Council

Original music written for 50th anniversary Mass

Few opportunities for those single, Catholic

College memoir
finds inspiration
from St. Paul

Helping Catholics flourish after a
failing marriage

Dialogue with
Vatican to continue

No 'middle ground'
on key issues

Move forward
with prayer, hope


Blood drive a draw
for Red Cross

Catholic Charities needs volunteers
for Cal games

Author tells story
about Holocaust

Year of celebrations kicks off Saint Mary's 150th anniversary

National Night Out

St. James Youth Choir

Challenges to religious liberty, marriage among KoC concerns

Leaders of men's orders hear how to bring in young people

placeholder  August 20, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA
Renewed direction for family planning

Better science, spirituality revise view of "rhythm method."
A natural, accurate, effective and morally acceptable way
for couples to achieve or avoid pregnancy.

Karen and Tommy Tighe with their sons, infant Paul and James.
JosÉ Luis Aguirre/The Catholic Voice

The Tighes: 'Papal teaching can be so passionate'

When Karen and Tommy Tighe were approaching their 2007 wedding, their engaged couples class, required by the diocese in which they were marrying, required an hour of NFP explanation.

Suffice it to say that was not their most highly anticipated hour of wedding preparations.


Related Stories

Bishop's Column: Time to
dispel myths around NFP

10 reasons to use NFP

For more information

Oakland diocese

The Medical Institute
for Sexual Health

California Association of Natural Family Planning

Starting in September

9 a.m. Sept. 15,
Oct. 20, Nov. 10
The Cathedral of Christ the Light, Vietnamese Martyrs Classroom, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland

In an effort to give practical help to married and engaged couples to live out the teaching of the Church, a short course on natural family planning begins Sept. 15. Cost is $140 plus shipping for materials; financial assistance is available. Information and registration is available on the website www.ccli.org.

And, if you told Tommy that five years later, he'd be making these presentations to about-to-be-married couples, he would have believed you "never in a million years."

They'd heard of it before. And they knew the misconceptions. "Like everyone who practices it has seven children," he said.

The Tighes met in 2003 at the University of California where their friendship grew into a dating relationship. Their marriage, in 2007, was celebrated at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Irvine.

Today they live in Pleasanton, where they are members of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, attending Mass most often at St. Augustine Church.

Tommy is an only child from Southern California and Karen is one of seven, from San Jose. Karen, who has a bachelor of science degree in biology, is a stay-at-home mom and Tommy, who has a master's degree in psychology, is a supervisor at a mental health clinic for adults.

"After our first son was born, we started looking into it," he said. They looked online, and researched various methods, and read both Pope Paul IV's "Humane Vitae" ("Of Human Life") and "Sex Au Naturel: What It Is and Why It's Good For Your Marriage" by radio host Patrick Coffin.

"Papal teaching can be so passionate," Tommy said.

" 'Humane Vitae' drew us toward this," Karen said.

Their research prompted them to look for a teacher.

"Once you know what you have to do" he said, "you have to follow through."

They picked the Billings Ovulation Method, which "seemed the most effective and easiest," meeting with a teacher once, then two weeks later, for a total of four meetings.

"It wasn't difficult," she said. "We both found it to be a really rewarding chance."

"This makes sense," he recalled thinking, "but how will it play out. It was 100 percent better than what was going on before."

"Our teacher suggested we should become teachers," he said.

Right after they moved to the Bay Area, there was a training session for teachers in San Francisco, which happens every five years. They see clients in their home, and are teaching at St. Raymond in Dublin.

Rev. Lawrence D'Anjou has asked the Tighes to talk about natural family planning to couples in the parish marriage preparation series.

While couples in the mandatory classes are sometimes eager to "check the box and move on," couples who continue on to take the course in the Tighe home are "passionate" about learning the method.

A first class meeting involves a 90-minute PowerPoint presentation on how to achieve or postpone pregnancy. Follow-up sessions allow time for questions and answers.

The Tighes strongly recommend both partners attend the meetings to "get the knowledge of the science behind it."

"So far, the couples we have taught have been really Catholic and really interested in following church teaching," he said, although some organizations say about 40 percent of natural family planning users are non-Catholics.

"We like talking about it a lot," he said. "It's really profound. We're supposed to be giving totally of ourselves to our spouse."

Marrying and having children is a "very powerful fulfillment of our vocation."

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