NFP in Pakistan


Pictorial Report of the National Family Life Commission of Pakistan 2016

We are happy to inform you that finally after a long efforts we are able to make a breakthrough in Lahore Archdiocese. It is because of the newly appointed Family life director Fr. Henry Paul. The total number of couples were 50 who belongs to the various parishes of Lahore City. Archbishop himself attended the last 3 sessions of second day in which he was especially interested on our last segment in which we had an interactive recapped  of the whole training. In his concluding remarks, he vowed to have series of training's in 2017 and he wanted to produce teachers of BOM in each circle of his Archdiocese. He also recognized our efforts from last many years for the promotion of BOM across Pakistan. Now we can say that eventually, all Bishops of Pakistan are supportive for BOM.

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A Brief History of Billings Ovulation Method in Pakistan

In 2001, on the initiative of Fr. Daniel McCaffrey and Late Bishop Anthony Lobo, two senior teachers of BOM from Australia, Marian Corkill and Gillian Barker arrived in Pakistan to impart NFP BOM training to various dioceses of Pakistan. Mr. Pervez was appointed as their translator for their training programs at Lahore and Multan and Mrs. Nazli was the participant of the course in Lahore. From that day on I am involved in NFP BOM. Then latter Mrs. Catherine Roderick joined and all of us had online Correspondence Course and went thrice to Australia I different timings for advance courses.

At the start we were not so enthusiastic but gradually when we learnt the method and came to know the uniqueness of the method, we were motivated and now we call it “Good News” and became the MISSION of our lives. We strongly feel that this Method should reach to all humanity.

After observing the gradual progress of our work, in 2009, Late Bishop Anthony Lobo, then, Chairman, National Family Life Commission decided to include this method as part of National Family Life Commission. So from that time on we were always combining BOM with our spiritual programs of Family Life. We have divided our training into two parts first part is about Spirituality of Marriage and second part is the training of BOM

After our country affiliation with WOOMB International, we have given training of NFP to the 7 diocese of Pakistan. We have been able to include BOM Course in rural areas, urban slums, parishes, mission hospitals all over Pakistan. We have started working with the Government Sector also where we trained many doctors, nurses and lady health workers of almost all Government hospitals of Rawalpindi-Islamabad. We are also working with Ministry of Population Welfare. In this regard we have given many training programs to the staff and students of their Regional Training Institute.

From the beginning, three of us are working on it and it is still going on. However, we have trained many people time to time in various dioceses, hospitals and other institutes who are helping others in this method in their areas.   We are still going on with the same zeal and enthusiasm as started 15 years ago. It is been thoroughly mentioned above about our current activities.

We would like to especially mention the name of Fr. Denial McCaffery, who from last many years  is helping us financially for all the above mentioned activities in Pakistan. Without his help it may be not possible for us to reach all these areas and institutes all over Pakistan.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to all senior teachers of WOOMB International especially Marian Corkill who is tremendously supportive during our 15 years journey for the promotion of  BOM in Pakistan      

Billings Team
Pakistan

Once again, we are pleased to inform you that we had a 2-day training program in Multan diocese where 15 couples from various parishes of Multan city were gather together. The presence of couples were less than expected due to very cold and foggy weather. So our team has decided to shift it into 2-day BOM awareness program instead of 3-day Training of trainers (TOT). Those who participated were very enthusiastic and we have selected some of them for our next TOT in March or April 2017.

Another significance of this program was our meeting with Bishop Benny Traves (Bishop of Multan) who have just attended a meeting of Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC) on Marriage and Family Life. In his speech to the participants, he shared that how church in asia is focusing more and more on Marriage and Family Life. He appreciated our efforts and vowed to have program in Multan diocese on regular basis in 2017. 

We are also pleased to inform you that after this training program, we have covered all 7 dioceses of Pakistan in the year 2016, which is a great achievement for us.  

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We are pleased to inform you that we had a 3-day BOM teachers training program at St. Raphael's Hospital, Faisalabad Diocese, where nuns, nurses, midwives of the hospital attended this training. The total number of participants were 38. The significance of this program was that 87 years "young"  nun Sr. Elizabeth became the teachers of BOM who was consecutively in our sessions during these three days. She is still helping infertile couples in the hospital through a very simple charting pattern of BOM from early 70s.    

The FMM (Franciscan Missionaries of Mary) nuns are running this hospital and after attending the program, they have decided to establish a BOM clinic and a breastfeeding promotional office in the hospital for outdoor patient. Please note that this is a gyne hospital where they cater hundreds of poor women everyday from Faisalabad and adjacent villages. We are very glad of their initiatives.

We are book for another teachers training for the rest of their staff who were not able  to attend this time as well as a follow-up training with those who  already attended.

During the program, we were also invited by the Bishop of the diocese, whom we proposed to inculcate BOM as the part of National Catechist Center, Khushpur. National Catechist training center is providing 3-year training to the catechists (with their wives) who are selected from across the 7 dioceses and latter provide catechism on door to door basis. I was asked to provide the syllabus of BOM to the Bishop.

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We are pleased to inform you that we had a 3-day BOM teachers training program at St. Raphael's Hospital, Faisalabad Diocese, where nuns, nurses, midwives of the hospital attended this training. The total number of participants were 38. The significance of this program was that 87 years "young"  nun Sr. Elizabeth became the teachers of BOM who was consecutively in our sessions during these three days. She is still helping infertile couples in the hospital through a very simple charting pattern of BOM from early 70s.    

The FMM (Franciscan Missionaries of Mary) nuns are running this hospital and after attending the program, they have decided to establish a BOM clinic and a breastfeeding promotional office in the hospital for outdoor patient. Please note that this is a gyne hospital where they cater hundreds of poor women everyday from Faisalabad and adjacent villages. We are very glad of their initiatives.

We are book for another teachers training for the rest of their staff who were not able  to attend this time as well as a follow-up training with those who  already attended.

During the program, we were also invited by the Bishop of the diocese, whom we proposed to inculcate BOM as the part of National Catechist Center, Khushpur. National Catechist training center is providing 3-year training to the catechists (with their wives) who are selected from across the 7 dioceses and latter provide catechism on door to door basis. I was asked to provide the syllabus of BOM to the Bishop.

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As mentioned earlier, we are pleased to inform you that we had a 3-day Teachers Training Program at National Catechists Training Center, Khushpur. The total number of couples were 15 while there were 28 single catechists also attended this training program. This is the first part of our training while the second part of the training will be held in March 2017 when we will give certificates to the selective teachers. 

Please note that these Catechists are from the 5 different dioceses of Pakistan and WOOMB Pakistan will trained them twice a year on regular basis in future. After having full training of BOM these catechists will also teach BOM besides their pastoral visits at the grass-roots level in their parishes. It is really a breakthrough for us.


Once again I am happy to inform you that we have received the official permission to inculcate BOM in the syllabus of National Catechist training center, Faisalabad. We have received a letter from Faisalabad Bishop recently in which he permitted us Shortly we will have a meeting with the director of the center to lay out the plans for 2017. from next year all graduate catechists will also be trained in BOM, who are providing pastoral services on door to door basis in their respective parishes all over the country.  

Tomorrow we are traveling to Faisalabad to impart training programs in two different parishes of Faisalabad, one in urban slums and other one in the village.

In the month of November, we are confirmed for 3-day training's to produce teachers of BOM in Multan and Lahore Dioceses. We are going to Multan on 11th to 13th while in Lahore 25th to 27th. Couples from most of the parishes of these two dioceses will participate in these training.   

This year we have covered almost all Pakistan, from one end to other for which we are grateful to God as well as you for supporting this Good News.

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In July of 2016, we had a 3-day Teachers Training Program in Quetta Diocese. The total 20 couples attended the training program from 6 different parishes of Quetta Diocese. Some couples were from far flung towns and villages of Baluchistan province.  Most of the couples were well educated and had a good understanding of the Method at the end of the training. At the end of the training, we assess their knowledge by distributing a questionnaire. Most of them attempted it very well. Bishop Victor of Quetta and Fr. Maqsood, Family Life Director were very supportive and vowed to promote the Method. Last day we had a meeting with bishop Victor in which we lay out a strategy for follow-up meeting and programs. It was decided that all couple will meet on fortnightly basis in their areas and National Team will come again after 6 months for another teachers training cum follow-up program.

Program ended with distribution of certificate and a set of Urdu booklets of Billings research followed by  Holy Mass by Bishop Victor.

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 On 20th May, we had a very successful day long training program in St. James parish, Okara. This is a town in south Punjab and 8 hours drive from Rawalpindi.

The participants of the programs had diverse background as some couples were highly educated e.g. teachers, lecturers and different medical professionals while some were simple farmers and skilled workers. The total 26 couples attended this training and 3 nuns and 2 priests and a Deacon totaling 57 participants.

Pakistan is in a grip of severe hot weather and the temperature reached on 47 degree Celsius on that day but still participants patiently attended the full training.

We might halt our activities temporarily due to the weather condition as it is difficult to travel as well as for the participants to sit for the full day under these conditions with constant power break downs. You will be surprise to know that that the highest temperature recorded  last week was 53 degree Celsius in Interior Sindh.

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On May 12, 2016, we had a meeting with Archbishop Joseph Coutts, Chairman Catholic Bishops Conference of Pakistan in our office on the issues of BOM in Pakistan.

After 2 hours meeting in very pleasant atmosphere the following decisions were made.

BOM training would be introduced as part of the syllabus in National Catechist Training Center where catechists are trained for three years coming from allover Pakistan. This is a very strategic group as Catechists are going door to door in their respective parishes for pastoral visits. In future they will be taught as BOM teachers during their 3-year training program.

BOM will also be introduced to the Annul meeting of young priests (less than 5 years as priests) which is held every year in Lahore and priests from allover Pakistan are coming there.

In Archdiocese of Karachi it will be an obligation for every parish that all engaged couples should go through a 6-sessions (once a week for 2 hours) of BOM training together with Church teachings on human sexuality. Without this training, their wedding banns will not be announced. In this regard a team of trained couples have been formed whom we trained recently in our Karachi visit.

Archbishop assured us that he will put this suggestion in next Bishops Conference in November so that all bishops can follow the example of Karachi Archdiocese.

For us this is a really breakthrough for BOM in Pakistan and it seems that Clergy in Pakistan has acknowledge the need and importance our our work.


We are pleased to inform you that we had one-day training program with the couples of Sacred Heart Parish, Sahiwal, Diocese of Faisalabad on 30th April 2016.

The total number of couples were 18 together with 2 Deacons and two Dominican priests totaling 38 participants Due to the hot weather and wheat harvesting season, many invited couples were unable to participate. Sahiwal is the remotest parish of Faisalabad diocese and it takes 8 hours by bus to reach from Rawalpindi!

Participants were from different walks of life which includes catechists, peasants, school teachers, NGOs workers. At the end the set of Urdu booklets of BOM were distributed among the participants.

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We are pleased to inform you that we have produced 32 new Teachers (16 couples) as new BOM teachers in Hyderabad Diocese. The total number of participants were 58 (twenty seven couples 3 priests and a nun). After examining their knowledge carefully by the national team, we have decided to give certificates to 16 couples. 

The background of the group was very much diverse as some couples were from Hyderabad city highly educated and qualified, some were from nearby by towns and some came from 3 different tribal communities of THAR Desert, close to Indian boarder of Rajhistan. Although tribal community understand Urdu but wherever needed our very old friend and BOM teacher Mr. Man Singh translated for tribal community. Sr. Rebecca an Irish Columban nun organized this program who was very much supportive towards our work.

Now we are grateful to God Almighty that he has given us the strength to disseminate  BOM from Himalayan Mountains to THAR Desert from urban slums to the far flung villages of Punjab. Praise the Lord.

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We are pleased to inform you that on 12th March we had an opportunity to impart one-day BOM training program to the couples of Renala Khurd's Parish, a town after Lahore but falls in the jurisdiction of Faisalabad Diocese.

The fifteen couples from the town and nearby villages together with 3 priests participated in this program. As usual, the first part was Church's teachings on human sexuality followed by BOM training.  The feedback of the participants were very encouraging as they shared they were not aware of all these teachings and vowed to convince the Parish priest to conduct more programs of this type on regular basis in their parish. 

At the end, Urdu translated booklets of BOM research was distributed among the participants as well as to the priests.

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We are happy to inform you that on 27th Feb, we were invited by Missionaries of Charity Sisters (Mother Teresa's Sisters) at Home for Peace Center, Rawalpindi. Thirteen couples and 3 nuns attended this one day training program. Sisters are very much convinced for the promotion of BOM in their communities and decided to have series of training throughout the year. 

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We here are happy to inform you that our team have another training program in one of the towns of Faisalabad diocese where 24 couples attended this training program. Most of the couples were illiterate working as laborers in Brick-kiln or sanitary workers. However, there are few literate couples who works as teachers and Government employs. 

We adopted the simplest way to teach them the Method and at the end of the day we were glad to hear the feedback of most of the couples as they were so satisfied  and happy. Some shared that it is the first time they heard about the Natural Method. There were many Myths about family planning and reproductive health as these kind of flock always become pray of quakes and mobilizers of contraceptives. They were also happy to know about the Church's teachings on human sexuality and marriage.

This might be the last program of 2015 as from now on we will start working on our annual reports. From next year, we are planning to produce more and more teachers in all 7 dioceses of Pakistan so one day the dioceses will be self-sufficient in Billings Ovulation Method's teachers. We are grateful to Fr. John Joseph, Diocesan Family Life Director, who is inviting us in Faisalabad diocese on regular basis.  

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We have a very successful program in Warispura parish in Faisalabad diocese . This parish is run by the Dominican Friars. total numbers of participants were 22 couples together with some 16 Catholic health workers of the diocese. Bishop of Faisalabad Bishop John Joseph took special interest and he also attended most of the program. In his message to the participants he appreciated the national team for providing such and important and less spoken information on church's teachings as well as teaching couples and catholic health professionals about the natural family planning of Billings Ovulation Method. Bishop Joseph Arshad will represent Pakistan in upcoming Synod of Bishops in Rome.  

During the lunch, we suggested him to trained few selective couples of their diocese as future teachers in various parishes for which he was agreed. Now in near future we will have training of trainers for 3 days in Faisalabad who will eventually teach billings Ovulation Method in their respected parishes.

Fr. Younas Shahzad a Dominican Friar and parish priest all attended the full training and assured his cooperation in future.

We are also grateful for the cooperation of Fr. John Joseph, a Capuchin priest and diocesan family life director for diocese of Faisalabad diocese for organizing such a fruitful program for us which has opened the new doors in this diocese

Fr. Dan, we also met a senior priest fr. Augustine Rodriguez (Dominican), who knows you very well and he mentioned that I was alter boy when Fr. Dan was in Fatima Parish Karachi. He know everything about "Ovulation Method" and was very happy that this work is still going on in Pakistan. He also knows Fr. Luke very well.

At the end of the program we also distributed the set of booklets in Urdu of all research of BOM.

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In August of 2015, three of us have imparted a one day program on Church's teachings on human sexuality and orientation of Billings Ovulation Method to the selective youth (boys and girls) of 5 dioceses of Pakistan. This program was was in connection with the National Annual Summer Camp held in mountainous part of Kyberpakhtoon Khua  province (Ayubia). 

It was a 5-day summer camp where other resource persons also came for their topics. One day was allocated for marriage preparation course. Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore was very happy with the feedback of our input by Youth. We conducted separate sessions for Boys and Girls. The Youth was enthralled to know about the Church's Teachings on various aspects of human sexuality as well as about the natural rhythm of their fertility and infertility of Billings Ovulation Method.

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5-day Teachers Training Program with 25 Midwives become Family counselor of District Headquarter Hospital Rawalpindi in class and with their certificates. These midwives belongs to various villages and towns of Rawalpindi district who will provide door to door services of family planning

One day training program with the couples of different parishes of Rawalpindi-Islamabad at St. Joseph's Cathedral, Rawalpindi

Pics of our new Billings teachers (two couples) in our office. This training course was started in January and will finish by the end of June 2015 on weekly basis. 


In May of 2015, we have been given an opportunity to train 25 nurses to come family councilors of District Headquarter Hospital of Rawalpindi. This is a 5 days training program from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (going on as today is one day break) in which 25 Muslim nurses from Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Murree and other suburban towns and villages are taking part. At the end of the course, they will be provided with certificate of teaching. Again this is a very strategic group as they will be latter appointed to provide family planning services on door to door basis in various towns and nearby villages. 

On coming Saturday, in St. Joseph's Cathedral, Rawalpindi, we are also organizing a one day training program for couples of various parishes of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. Most of our previously trained teachers in Rawalpindi will join us and will also impart different topics with us. 


On 25th of April, we organized a program Training program on BOM in one of the rural parishes of Faisalabad diocese. Fr. John Joseph, diocesan director of Family Life commission organized this program. Total 13 couples were present there as many did not able to join due the harvesting season in their villages . Nazli was unable to join us due to some other commitments.

It is always a joy to work with people of far flung towns and villages who never heard the church's teachings on marriage and Family life as well as about BOM. As usual we adopted the simplest way to teach them BOM as most of them are totally illiterate. At the end some testimonies were so encouraging. One couple said that we never attended such a open and beneficial program on Church's platform.  Another couple mentioned that they never heard about natural fertility regulation and now they will live their married life according to the skill they have learnt today.

At the end we had a meeting with Fr. John Joseph and it was decided that in near future we will start a teachers training program with the couples of Faisalabad diocese so they can cater different communities in their diocese. 


 In February of 2015, we had a meeting with the Rector of our Minor Seminary in Rawalpindi in which I presented the case of giving BOM training to the future priests under the subject of Moral Theology and Human Development. In this regard, we brought various documents of Church e.g. God's Plan for Marriage, Theology of the Body, Humane Vitae as well as the gist of all technical part of Billings Ovulation Method and its science. We also tried to convince them that how this training will impact on their future Pastoral work.   The management of the seminary is agreed to our proposal and yesterday, we had our first class of BOM training in Seminary.

There will be weekly class of 2 hours and the duration of the course is 4 months before they will be promoted to the Philosophy seminary in Lahore.     

I am sure that these seminarians will be the better product of Catholic Church in Pakistan who will really understand the importance of marriage, Family and Life in their Pastoral activities in Future. 

Please note that my own son is part of this training (first on right) and there are 3 youth leaders (extreme left) who are working in the slums of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The rest are all seminarians.

Another good news is this that after the gap of 2 years, we are able to re-launch a BOM training program in St. Joseph's Parish in the archdiocese of Lahore. The date has been fixed on 23rd March which is a public holiday in Pakistan and we are expecting 35 to 40 couples for this training. 


On 14th Feb, we had a BOM training program in one of the rural parishes of Islamabad-Rawalpindi diocese. There were 6 couples and two married women attended this training program. Since the group was small ,we had an opportunity to focus one on one basis. We also had a separate session for husbands and wives in which they asked many questions. All of us were very satisfied with their learning. Some female participants are working with different women's groups of nearby villages and are very much enthusiastic to disseminate the concept of BOM to other women of their areas. Fr. Tariq Bhatti, Parish priest is planning to have more programs after Easter in which we will go to different villages and will conduct BOM training there instead of calling them to the parish house.      


 

New Billings Ovulation Method Teachers from the Ministry of Population Welfare, Government of Pakistan.  We are working with them from last one year on weekly basis. They are from different parts of Pakistan. Some belongs from deserts of Sindh, some are from snow caped mountains of Himalayas, Gilgit, Chitral and also from the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa province near Afghanistan boarder. 

All of them are Family Planning Service provider who provides their services in Government hospital as well as door to door services in the far flung villages and towns. They are the most strategic group. They will now  provide Billings Method as one of the alternative Method to those who do not want to take contraceptives for medical or religious reasons. They are so impress with the method that they vowed to use this for their personal life and are correctly making their own charts from last many months.

Next month (October 2014) their will be a graduation ceremony where we will give them certificate as Teachers of Billings Ovulation Method. We took these pictures yesterday, when we finally concluded our one year teachers training course.  

Our 2014 Report of all events     Photo Gallery