Archive for 2008

NFP Celebration

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

NFP Celebration for the Kippleys

   We were gratified to receive honorary degrees at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Winter Commencement on December 13, 2008  for “a lifetime of work in teaching Natural Family Planning (NFP) and upholding sexual morality in marriage.”
   The following address was given by Rev. Terence Henry TOR, President of Franciscan University, before the conferral of the honorary degrees:
   “For the past 40 years, John and Sheila Kippley have helped tens of thousands of couples understand and embrace the Church’s teachings on life. Beginning in 1971, shortly after Pope Paul VI released his encyclical Humanae Vitae, the couple started teaching Natural Family Planning classes in their Minnesota parish.  In addition to the Sympto-Thermal Method, those classes also included Sheila’s research on ecological breastfeeding, which she had published in 1969 in her book, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing.
   In 1972, the Kippleys moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they began work on their landmark book, The Art of Natural Family Planning (1973), and started training other couples to teach Natural Family Planning methods.  Within a few short years, their efforts went global, with their work eventually receiving the endorsement of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.  To date, well over 200,000 couples have attended NFP classes in the U.S. alone, and thousands of books, tapes, and newsletters on NFP have been distributed worldwide.
   In 2004 the Kippleys established Natural Family Planning International to continue their efforts to educate couples on the problems of birth control and the benefits of Natural Family Planning and breastfeeding.
   Married for more than 45 years, the Kippleys have five children and many grandchildren.”

Jesus is born in Bethlehem

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

The Rosary and the third mystery of the Preparation: The Nativity 

The angels announced the birth of the Savior as “good news of great joy.” In taking on our human nature, God the Son poured himself out for us, and from this we learn that joy comes from the giving of self.

Another message of the angels is that joy comes from personal acceptance of Jesus as our Savior. The proud can never experience this joy, for they refuse to admit their need for salvation; or they pursue a futile quest for joy in pleasures and possessions.

We give thanks that the Son of God came to save us.

Our Father
1. [While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem for the census,] the time came for her delivery.
Hail Mary

2. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes.
Hail Mary

3. She laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
Hail Mary

4. There were shepherds in the same region, living in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Hail Mary

5. And behold, an angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of God shone round about them, and they were very much afraid.
Hail Mary

6. The angel said to them: “Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be to all the people.
Hail Mary

7. “Today in the town of David there has been born to you a Savior who is Christ the Lord;
Hail Mary

8. “And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
Hail Mary

9. Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God,
Hail Mary

10. And saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.”
Hail Mary
Glory be

Reference: Luke 2:1-14 from the Seven Day Rosary Booklet

A holy Christmas to all!  John and Sheila

Breastfeeding and Scriptural Mothering

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Scriptural Mothering continued:

“When she had weaned Not pitied, she conceived and bore a son” (Hosea 1:8).
Natural child spacing is mentioned in the Bible!  The mother weans and then she is able to conceive a child.  Weaning means the child has stopped nursing, that breast milk is no longer a part of the child’s diet.  While fertility usually returns during the time of nursing, this mother apparently was one of those who are able to conceive only after the cessation of nursing.

“I carried you nine months in my womb, and nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in your life, and have taken care of you” (2 Macabees 7:27).
Here mothering is seen as a continuous process of caring for the child.  The mother’s care begins in the womb, continues after childbirth with breastfeeding, but it doesn’t stop there.  The mother continues to provide care after the child weans and continues to grow into adulthood. 
   This is the only place in the Bible that tells us specifically how long a mother nursed.  I cannot prove it, but, judging from contemporary experience in less developed areas as well as experiences with some modern American mothers, I suspect that nursing for three years was a normal practice during biblical times.

“Going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:11)
The three kings arrived to find Mary with Jesus.  Remaining with one’s child is customary for mothers who follow traditional mothering.  We can safely assume that Mary kept the infant Jesus close to her on a continual basis.  When Mary and Joseph traveled with the baby to Egypt, one can picture the baby wrapped closely to Mary’s body during the journey.
“Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed” (Luke 11:7).
Christ tells a story in which a man speaks the above words.  This story hints of the practice of the family bed.  In most cultures throughout the world, the family bed is a common practice whereby one or both parents sleep with their baby or young children.  It is well known among the promoters of breastfeeding that if you are promoting breastfeeding, you are automatically promoting the family bed.  It is for this reason that I included this verse of Scripture.
    Did Mary and Joseph do the “family bed”?  One mother wrote years ago saying that Mary did not do the family bed because she laid the baby Jesus in a manger.  There is much left out of Scripture concerning the birth of Jesus.  If you had shepherds and kings coming to adore the infant, then wouldn’t it make sense to place the infant, Jesus, in an elevated place where he could be seen?  In a stable the only place where the infant might be elevated in order to be seen may have been the manger.   The manger might be the only protective place for baby Jesus considering sheep and possibly other animals present in or near the stable. 
    We weren’t there and Scripture does not tell us, but one might speculate that there was some clean soft hay in the stable.  Mary and Joseph probably used this or something similar for bedding with Jesus tucked in close to Mary during the night.

“Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!” (Luke 11:27)
Here a woman called out to Jesus the above blessing.  Catholic mothers often look to the Blessed Mother as their role model and follow her example.  There is no doubt that Mary nursed Jesus.  This reference in Scripture  referred to the fact that Mary carried Jesus in her womb and nursed him as an infant and probably as a two and three year old.2   Jesus depended upon Mary for nurturing and care during the early years of his life.  What a joy for Mary to nurse the Child Jesus!

The Bible gives us several descriptions of breastfeeding and the care we can tenderly give our babies, even if we are unable to breastfeed.  All mothers can carry their babies in their arms or hold them on their laps, knees or hip.  We see in Scripture that breastfeeding is also associated with a particular kind of care at the breast that offers comfort and safety.   Breastfeeding in Scripture is also associated with extended breastfeeding and natural child spacing.  Mothers who nurse their babies and little ones can definitely find support for their mothering in Scripture.
2.Fr. Rob Jack, a professor at Mr. St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati, during a day-long series of talks on the Immaculate Conception said that in the non-canonical Proto-Gospel of James, Mary presented Jesus at the temple when he was four years old.  Fr. Jack opined that Jesus was probably weaned at that age.  The talk was given at Presentation Ministries’ Bible Institute at Xavier University, July 28, 2004.
Copyright 2006 by Sheila Kippley

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor, 2008
Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, 2008, classic edition
Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood, 2005