On August 21 and 22 the Archdiocese of San Francisco is hosting the the 13th statewide conference of the California Association of Natural Family Planning. The conference, with the theme Male and Female He Created Them: Marriage and the Stewardship of the Body, will take place in the Event Center of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, and will feature a top-drawer selection of speakers from as far away as the United Kingdom. The conference will examine practically every aspect of the war between the culture of life and the culture of death.
The opening keynote presentation will be given by San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage. The Archbishop will speak on ‘Stewardship of our Bodies: Responsible Parenthood’. The Archbishop will be joined by around 20 experts, including Professor Christopher Kaczor, visiting Fellow at Princeton and professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount; Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage; Dr. George Delgado, the physician who is pioneering the use of the abortion reversal pill; activist Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, who has done so much to draw attention the perils of “surrogate motherhood” and assisted reproductive technologies; Dr. Lynn Keenan and Sheila St. John President and Executive Director, respectively, of the California Association of Natural Family Planning, and others. The closing keynote address will be given by author Fiorella Nash ( who publishes under the name Fiorella de Maria) on A Path Worth Walking: Life Liberty and the Rise of Pro-Life Feminism.
The last topic is significant, as is the number of women at the conference, who constitute a majority of the speakers. Slowly and steadily, the true meaning of “Feminism,” a manifestation of the feminine genius as a distinct mode of human living in culture and society is being recaptured and is finding intellectual expression at the highest level. The expression is especially notable among female Catholic writers and thinkers, informed by Saint Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and drawing on the unsurpassed tradition of Catholic social thought. In addition to the female experts named above, Professor Karen Chan
of St. Patrick’s Seminary will speak on ‘Motherhood: Sacrifice or Perfection of Woman?’; OBGYN Dr. Mary Davenport, whose practice is NFP-only, on Preparing for Conception/Motherhood; Catholic author and speaker Rose Sweet on Way of the Bride and Way of the Heart Featuring Four Temperments; author and speaker Michaelene Fredenberg, whose own abortion experience led her to first seek, then offer healing, on Speaking the Language of Grief and Loss; Dr. Amie Holmes, an OBGYN and mother of four, and an expert on Natural Procreative Technology (NaPro Technology) and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) on PCOS and NaProTechnology: Innovative Approaches to Evaluation and Management; and Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, MEV, Executive Director of Los Angeles Pregnancy Services, will speak in Spanish on NFP Instructors and Pro-Life Assistance Centers: the ‘Importance of Working Together’.
Male speakers are not absent at the conference. In addition to the Archbishop, Professor Kaczor, and Dr. Delgado, radio host and pastor of Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish in Homer Glen, IL, Fr. Thomas J Loya, will speak on the scourge of pornography: ‘Fighting Fire with Fire—moving beyond pornography and toward a true purity of heart’ and ‘The Mystical Meaning of Manhood; Padre Marcos González will speak in Spanish on The Good News of NFP for the Hispanic Community’; and Ed Hopfner, the director of Marriage and Family Life for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and a widely recognized expert on The Theology of the Body will explore that subject.
Mr. Hopfner, who served as the Archdiocese’s point man on the conference, said: “Today there is great public confusion – over the meaning of our human sexuality, the definition of marriage, and even our very nature as being created man or woman. This conference is very timely, in that it directly addresses that confusion.
We are all called to share the ‘joy of the Gospel’ in our own circumstances. I have great hope that this conference will help attendees better understand and be able to articulate the truths our Church teaches around these issues, to share them with those they encounter in their personal and even professional lives.”
To learn more, or to purchase tickets, visit www.canfp.org or call 1877-33-CANFP.