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Natural Fertility Medicine

I have had a naturopathic family practice for 11 years supporting natural women’s health, including fertility and pre- and post-natal issues. Over time in my practice, I’ve seen an increasing number of patients with fertility concerns that are not well served by conventional medicine. I’ve also heard many stories about both the side effects and ethical dilemmas involved in Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) that is practiced at local fertility clinics.

As a doctor who has pledged to “first, do no harm,” I worry about the impact of powerful artificial hormones used in fertility medicines on children born using ART. I also worry about the emotional and spiritual effects of people being told that they cannot conceive without extensive technological intervention; where implantation in a medical outpatient clinic replaces conception in the loving environment of the home.

Fortunately, I have many tools besides medications for promoting fertility. In my practice, I have used Natural Family Planning (NFP) with cycle charting for many years to promote fertility literacy, and have used charting successfully with botanical and nutrient medicines to achieve pregnancy for many couples. Recently, I have also noticed increasing interest from patients in natural fertility methods, and patients often come in with their own cycle charting done on paper or with digital apps.

As a diagnostic tool, cycle charting also gives me useful information about when to test hormone levels so that the information acquired is clinically relevant. In the past, patients were often told that their levels of estrogen, progesterone, or other hormones were “fine” for fertility when they were not. With cycle charting, I have a much better idea when to send patients into the lab for blood testing to establish if there are specific problems with ovarian or uterine functioning or we are dealing with healthy cycle variations. Knowing when to test also helps if pregnancy is successful to monitor progesterone and other hormones to help prevent miscarriage or pre-term birth.

Earlier this year, I was accepted to the Pope Paul VI Institute at Creighton University for their post-graduate medical consultant program. This certification involves two eight-day sessions of intensive classroom instruction and a year of supervised practicum training (with long-distance faculty support) to help implement the Creighton protocols in a variety of clinical situations. What convinced me to follow Creighton was the fact that I will have more experienced medical professionals supporting me while I’m learning to put their protocols into practice.

Choosing to use fertility awareness forms of family planning has become profoundly counter-cultural in our secular society. However, almost 50 years since Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, warned about divorcing the “unitive” and “procreative” aspects of marital intimacy, we are discovering that medicalizing fertility has in fact profoundly disempowered many couples. Instead, what has resulted from the “ease” of contraceptive culture is many people are now struggling with sub- and infertility, as well as increasing levels of miscarriage and premature birth. Natural fertility methods, using cycle charting and supportive natural or prescriptive medicines, help to heal this cultural wound in so many of our families, and provide medicine in support of life.

Related Offices Life & Family Resource Centre (LFRC)
Related Themes Natural Family Planning Family Fertilitas

Bishop McGrattan's Liturgical Calendar

Below is the list of diocesan liturgical calendar of Bishop William T. McGrattan. Unless otherwise noted, the liturgies or prayers are led by Bishop McGrattan. Note that the schedule is subject to change. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Liturgy at 403-218-5511 or 403-218-5524, or e-mail liturgy@calgarydiocese.ca 

January 2018

  • January 18 - Week of Prayer of Christian Unity - Ambrose University at 11 AM. 
  • January 19 - School Blessing - Guardian Angels School (CCSD). Fr. Jerome Lavigne presiding.
  • January 21 - Relic Pilgrimage of St. Francis Xavier - Mass and Sung Vespers at St. Albert the Great.
  • January 22 - School Blessing - Apostles of Jesus (CCSD). Fr. Jerome Lavigne presiding.
  • January 25 - School Blessing - Holy Child (CCSD). Fr. Jerome Lavigne presiding.
  • January 25 - Week of Prayer of Christian Unity - St. Joseph's Church, Calgary at 7 PM. Fr. Yaroslaw Dziuba presiding.
  • January 28 - Parish Closing - Our Lady of the Rockies, Canmore.

February 2018 

  • February 17 - Rite of Election - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary at 7:30 PM
  • February 18 - Mass for Mark Drapal's Admission to the Ministry of Acolyte, St. Cecilia, Calgary at 9 AM.
  • February 18 - Rite of Election - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary at 3:30 PM 
  • February 20 - Faith Day - Christ the Redeemer School Disrict

March 2018

  • March 24 - Acies Legion of Mary - Mass at St. Patrick, Calgary
  • March 26 - Chrism Mass at 7:30 PM - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 29 - Holy Thursday at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 30 - The Outdoor Way of the Cross at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary 
  • March 30 - Good Friday at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 31 - Easter Vigil at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary

April 2018

  • April 1 - Easter Sunday at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary

May 2018

  • May 27 - Feed the Hungry Blessing at the Garden

JUNE 2018

  • Date to be determined - World Migrants Mass
Related Offices Office of Liturgy
Related Themes Diocesan Event Diocesan Celebration

Women at the Heart of Peace

As part of Development and Peace Jubilee campaign celebrating our 50 years, Caritas Canada is now looking to the future. After highlighting the role of women at the heart of change in the Share Lent campaign, the Fall education campaign focuses on women’s role in building peace.

Women and peace: a historical relationship 

Women have long been associated with peace and reconciliation around the world. Women have made vital contributions to peacebuilding and peace processes in diverse places such as Colombia, Guatemala, Liberia, Northern Ireland and the Philippines, just to name a few. There are countless examples and studies of women’s organizations engaging in the process of peace and reconciliation, whether at the national or international level, going as far back as World War I. 

The impact of women peacebuilders was publicly recognized and rewarded in 2011, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three inspiring women for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work: Ellen John¬son Sirleaf (Liberia), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia) and Tawakkul Karman (Yemen). This decision by the Nobel Committee reaffirmed the importance of women’s contribution to peace.  

We are all invited to learn more about the vital role women play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. All around the world, courageous women are working for a more peaceful world.  

Together, let’s take action for peace!

LET’S COMMIT to standing alongside women and organizations that strive to build a more just and peaceful world. Because women play a vital role in conflict prevention and in building just, sustainable and inclusive peace.

Your action counts! We suggest different ways of acting, so you can do it your own way. Support our campaign by filling out our online Action Card, or by spreading it on social networks.  

2017 CAMPAIGN RESOURCES

  • Poster | Give your campaign visibility with this beautiful poster.
  • Action Sheet | The Action Sheet summarizes the key thematic issues of our campaign and calls for action to recognize the importance of including women in peace processes.
  • Action Card | The Action Card is our main mobilization tool. Please distribute Action Cards in large numbers in order to send a strong message to the Canadian government: supporting women is supporting peace!
  • Faith Based Reflection | This short reflection explores how our faith calls on us to recognize and support the work done by women working for peace.
  • Backgrounder | In this backgrounder, you’ll find a detailed analysis of women and peace process, as well as examples of our partners’ work on these issues.
  • Campaign Guide | The Campaign Guide was included in the Campaign Ordering Kit and will also be included with each order.
Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Social Justice Development and Peace

Emergency Relief Aid for flood victims in Texas and Asia

The current hurricane season in the US and the monsoon season in SE Asia have brought much destruction due to flooding. Hurricane Harvey has caused thousands of homes to be destroyed and people evacuated to shelters. Devastating floods across SE Asia have displaced 41 million people. When natural disaster happens, the resulting death and destruction becomes a shared experience wherever it strikes.

Outreach efforts by the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston have included 25 parishes serving as shelters and/or donation centres. Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will be providing direct long-term assistance and case management services to victims as they begin to rebuild.

Meanwhile, Caritas organizations are responding to the needs in India, Nepal and Bangladesh by providing food, clean drinking water, and shelter. Emergency relief is also focused on preventing the spread of waterborne disease by delivering health, hygiene and sanitation support.

Let us pray for the victims of these disasters, standing in solidarity with them as they continue with recovery efforts and start to rebuild from such devastation. Just as the Diocese mobilized together when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, let us once again do so to help the millions impacted by these natural disasters.

Donations made to help with Hurricane Harvey will be sent to the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston. Donations made to assist with the emergency relief in SE Asia will be sent through Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada to help with humanitarian aid for Caritas India, Caritas Bangladesh and Caritas Nepal. Donations can be made online through the Diocese of Calgary website or mailed to the Catholic Pastoral Centre.

Please forward all funds collected to the Pastoral Centre. 

  • DONATE ONLINE or
  • Send a cheque to Catholic Pastoral Centre (120 17th Ave SW, Calgary T2S-2T2) and mark cheques with a note – Hurricane Harvey or South Asia Floods.

☩ William McGrattan
Bishop of Calgary

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Social Justice Giving Emergency Appeal Donation
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