Fertility charting for teen girls

Fertility charting for teen girls

An effort to teach more girls about their own sexual biology has both pro-abstinence folks and feminists up in arms.

The book by Toni Weschler is called “Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen’s Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body” and it helps girls understand their menstrual cycles and even chart them, a la certain Natural Family Planning methods. Now, to be clear, charting is itself morally neutral. It’s what you do with the knowledge gained that has a moral component. And whatever anyone tells you, NFP used to avoid pregnancy is not 100 percent effective, which is the whole point of recommending it for Catholic married couples.

The reason Weschler and others want to teach charting to teen girls is so that they understand what’s going on. When we took our NFP classes, Melanie kept telling me how she’d wished she’d been taught this basic biology when she was younger just so that she’d understood what was going on in her own body. Based on other conversations with women over the years, I’m fairly certain that a lot of women who otherwise have no intention to have contraceptive sex go on the Pill just because they’re trying to deal with a process they don’t understand based solely on their doctor’s advice.

Now Weschler herself didn’t want the book to be a guide to natural contraception, if you will, even arguing with her co-author brother over how specific to get about the methods for determining peak fertility.

Ultimately, over her brother’s objections, the book wound up detailing how teens can determine their most fertile days — but not telling them when sex carries little pregnancy risk. It does note that there’s a way to use charting for birth control but says that this should only be done by adults and stresses that adolescents should never have unprotected sex.

And that right there is the evidence that this not a Natural Family Planning book. No responsible NFP educator would ever promote the method as a means of birth control nor suggest using “safe sex” nor that teens should be having sex at all. Interestingly, the article does include the results of a recent study that shows fertility charting, aka NFP, can be just “slightly less effective than the pill” when used for pregnancy avoidance.

Opposition from both sides of the political divide

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  • I agree that information is a tool. I, like Melanie, wish i had been taught more about my body at a young age. My mom was wonderful, but I was unprepared for the usual physical happenings of puberty, let alone some big surprises later. Because i didn’t really understand how my body worked, I didn’t know that not having a period for 2 YEARS when i was in college was a bad thing – I was just happy to not have to deal with it. I knew it wasn’t normal, but i didn’t know it was actually dangerous.

    I turned out to have PCOS, and my doctor told me (I was 19) that I would never be able to have children – he was very wrong. At the time it was recommended to me by a OB/GYN family friend, that i do NFP tracking to try to understand my body better. I didn’t take it seriously and didn’t take the time to learn how. I didn’t start tracking until a few months before my wedding in Jan 05. When we started trying in earnest after getting married, we had a lot of trouble with no explanation. I ended up charting diligently to try to understand all that was going on, and was not only able to semi-diagnose my non-PCOS fertility issue (later confirmed by my OB/GYN), we conceived without any medical assistance.

    So many women don’t try to understand their girl parts until they have a problem conceiving. There are a ton of women and teens who are put on the pill for reproductive issues that don’t require the pill as a solution. And there are women who don’t have a clue that they can’t necessarily wait until they are 35 and conceive easily. I even knew a girl who went through menopause in her early 20s and by the time she found out it was too late to reverse – she just didn’t understand the signs her body was giving her. There is so much detail we are not given about basic reproductive health, and we are doing our children a disservice if we pass along the ignorance.

    Our young girls need to be given a good moral compass, but ignorance of their bodies does not make them more likely to make moral decisions. On the contrary – I believe that if a girl is taught all about the beautiful mystery that is her reproductive parts, that she will be more likely to respect her body and make better decisions. Also, if a girl is really taught how things are supposed to work, not just about menstruation in general, she will be more likely to seek help if there is a problem, rather than risk her future reproductive health out of ignorance.

    information is a tool, and knowledge can be power. Give a person real knowledge and understanding, and give them the moral compass to use it wisely. I don’t know what i think about Toni Weschler’s new book yet. I like her other book from a wealth of information standpoint (but would not give it to someone who was not strongly opposed to artificial birth control). My questions is – why isn’t there an NFP organization or a Catholic organization doing something like this – great information packaged with the appropriate message.

  • I disagree that the whole point of NFP is that it is not 100 percent effective. Nothing, short of sterility, is. So, that’s not why Catholics use NFP.

    Rather, from what I understand, it is the attitude and the mindset behind using NFP—a mindset that requires both the husband and wife to respect the way God designed fertility and work with Him when planning families—not against Him.

  • I remember talking with one of our Teaching Couples when we were learning NFP.  They were talking about their teenaged daughters, and how their knowledge of charting helped them.  They did not say that they explicitly taught their daughters how to chart, but they used their knowledge to better answer their daughters’ questions and to prepare them for unexpected occurrences, such as how a stressful time might affect their cycles.  I thought when they were explaining, “how neat!  I’m sure I’ll use this information with my daughters when they are teenagers too!” 

    I’ve often thought about how I might use this information with them since I now have two daughters.  I don’t think I would put them through a full NFP course while teenagers, though I know that the Creighton/FertilityCare teachers sometimes have teenaged girls in their classes (CCL won’t teach anyone but engaged or married couples because of their couple focus).  It’s just too geared toward “family planning.”  But if my daughter has concerns, I would definitely use a book like this (assuming I’ve read it first, which I haven’t) to help me assist them to learn to chart.  There are just too many health issues that I and my sisters have found through charting that otherwise went undiagnosed (thyroid issues, bacterial infections, cysts, PCOS).  I can’t imagine holding back that information, but I would assume that any information goes through, and not around, the parents.

  • Dom, I would agree with CMick’s point that your statement of “NFP used to avoid pregnancy is not 100 percent effective, which is the whole point of recommending it for Catholic married couples” is not the best. I think your point is good, but just stated a smidge awkwardly, so it may be misinterpreted.

    I assume that your point is the same as CMick’s, which is that NFP uses the natural signs our bodies give us to delay pregnancy is some instances and help conceive in other instances. Your point that it is not 100% effective (true – although in the high 90’s certainly), is stating that it is leaving the couple open to God’s will and the potential for conception.

    For instance, a couple who has a medical issue making pregnancy temporarily dangerous (certain medications, certain recent medical procedures), would be encouraged to abstain completely for that short period of time – because conception would be dangerous for whatever reason, and NFP would not guarantee prevention thereof. However, a couple who is merely looking at spacing their children (responsibly, not selfishly), would be encouraged to use NFP, because while it would help with that spacing, it still leaves them open to God’s will and possible conception. And then lastly, the couple able to be completely open to God’s will, and generally reproductively healthy, would be using no method of family planning at all. (these are of course, just 3 positions on a spectrum, not the only possible instances)

    Forgive my babbling, but i balked a bit at your statement initially too, until i realized what you were probably saying.

  • Dom and Betsey, I’m afraid that Betsey’s addition: “a couple who is merely looking at spacing their children (responsibly, not selfishly), would be encouraged to use NFP, because while it would help with that spacing, it still leaves them open to God’s will and possible conception”—is still a misunderstanding, or misexpression, of Church teaching.

    We are required to be “open to life” in three ways: one, each act of sex must not be purposely made infertile; two, the couple must be open to children, if possible, in their marriage; and three, we must lovingly accept any child God sends us, planned or not.

    The fact that NFP is not 100% effective is completely irrelevant. If it were 100% effective, it would still be permissible. In fact, there is a 100% effective means of avoiding conception that the Church _does_ accept for serious reasons: complete abstinence.

    Not trying to jump on you about this—it’s just that I’ve seen this misunderstanding used as a vehicle to mock the Church’s teaching. I’ve heard people say that they are open to life while using condoms, since condoms are notoriously ineffective in preventing pregnancy. That’s nonsense. The point is that the couple should not intentionally make a fertile act into an infertile one. Condoms do that; periodic (or constant) abstinence doesn’t.

  • Dr. (and Sister) Hanna Klaus started the TeenSTAR program more than 20 years ago.  My wife and I took her training program and we taught TeenSTAR in a parish in Minneapolis for several years.  The program includes the girls charting cervical mucus.  From the start, Dr. Klaus has collected a great deal of statistical data documenting that teens who understand how they operate are less likely to start sexual activity and more likely to stop it if they are already active.  The program is now in many countries in addition to the US.  TeenSTAR is faithful to the teachings of Catholicism.  One of its web sites is   http://www.teenstarprogram.org/

  • There is a local NFP instructor that has a class just for girls and their mothers. This e-mail was from last year, but this is what sex education should be, not promoting diverse sexual lifestyles…

    Mother/Daughter Social – The Cradle Within

    Sunday, April 23, 2006, 2-4 pm, St. William Parish, Tewksbury, MA

    The Mother/Daughter program is designed for girls between the ages of 9-14 and their mothers. Together we will explore God’s special gift of
    human fertility and the beauty and wonder of God’s plan for growing up and becoming a woman. Topics include the changes in a young woman’s body as it prepares for the motherhood, the onset of ovulation and subsequent menstrual periods, the functions of the female reproductive system, the sacredness of human life, and the virtue of chastity.

    The purpose of the program is to provide an atmosphere of love and learning in order to discuss the important topic of growing up and to
    establish a foundation for continued communication between mother and daughter.

    People of all faiths are welcome to attend, but everyone should be aware that there are some distinctively Catholic elements to the workshop.

    Pre-registration is required with a workshop fee of $25/family to cover the cost of materials and refreshments. A registration flyer is available

    Eileen Wood


  • My parents have practiced NFP for almost 30 years.  As a teenager, the whole concept and practice of charting my cycles was an integral part of their teaching about sex and morality.  I wonder if it is the same for other young women, but I was intensely aware that I was a fertile person and that God willing I would some day become a mother, and I was reminded of that fact once a month.  Instead of encouraging me to have sex, my awareness of my fertility made it clear to me that sex results in babies.  Yes it is fun too, but in a healthy couple, who have healthy open sex, babies happen.  The biological fact is that healthy fertile people make babies, and the morality of when or whether to have sex goes on top of that natural law.

    My best friend (who is one of biggest blessings in my life) was also taught similarly by her parents.  When we met at 18, we had both been very casually charting for about 3 years.  And we were both only people that we knew who were either still virgins or were intending on staying that way until marriage.

    I think that teaching young women about their fertility is an essential component in countering the secular message that ‘sex is good, safe sex is better, more sex will make you happier, and babies don’t come from “fun sex”, babies come from “baby making” sex’.

    Now that I am almost 30, have two children and am having trouble with my cycles, I know that what is happening not normal.  I charted for about 5 years before I even met my husband.  I’ve now been pregnant or nursing for 5 years, and I can say without a doubt that what is happening now is not normal for me.  Not that I expect my doctor to listen to that, and that is why were are going to go a FertilityCare clinic about 4 hour drive from here, once our schedule allows.

  • I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you come down on the side of teaching teenage girls NFP or charting. Greg Popzcak pioneered this notion when he suggested teenage boys chart their sisters’ cycles.

    The NFP teaching couple that I knew were the salt of the earth. They had 6 children, homeschooled, attended daily 7am Mass and said the family rosary faithfully. Their two oldest daughters were taught charting and attended Franciscan University. The second oldest got married 8 months pregnant. The oldest has a one year old out of wedlock.

    I haven’t seen it encourage modesty, reserve, feminity, self control or chastity.

    This is a dangerous and damaging notion indeed and the very antithesis of what Catholic girlhood should include.

  • From Teen Star’s program…

    TeenSTAR has… Over 90% of female and male virgins remained uninvolved while 30-65% of previously involved students stopped during the year-long Teen Star program.

    To get sexually active teens to stop having sex. That’s impressive.

  • Mary: Perhaps you should re-read what I wrote, since I said I was undecided about it. I see pros and cons on both sides of the argument. You would be more convincing if you didn’t immediately assume everyone else is an adversary and start off belligerently.

  • Your comment here:

    “Once again, it boils down to teaching them morality. If a girl is being raised by parents who teach her chastity, morality, and modesty, then teaching her charting and the biology of her fertility is not an incitement to promiscuity.”

    This has not been my observation. I think having young ladies thinking about their reproductive cycle daily is an incitement to impure thoughts which can lead to impure behavior. And I know that adolescents do not need any additional temptations in that area.

    These programs do not respect a natural latency period when young men and women are thinking about their education, sports, developing their talents, their vocations, their families and even their pets.

    Let young ladies watch Emma and french braid one another’s hair and forgo the mucus charting.

  • You conveniently left off the very next sentence: “But such information is not a chastity panacea and can be used for both good and for ill.”

    And your observations are anecdotal. Others in this comment thread have offered their own anecdotal evidence which shows that it can be effective.

    As for this latency period, if you propose living on a farm far away from civilization with no TV, radio, or Internet or interaction with the outside world, that would make sense. But other than that, we have to live in the real world.

    Not to mention the fact that during this “latency period” a girl is still undergoing her cycle and undoubtedly has questions about her own biology. God designed women to be fertile from about 12 years old. Maybe we should be telling them why—in an age-appropriate manner.

    I don’t support brother charting their sisters’ cycles or even “mucus charting” which is not what I understand Weschler or the other commenters to be talking about. Simple daily temperature charting is non-intrusive.

  • Besides, it’s not like well-brought up children cannot sin on their own accord; likewise, one can grow up in a moral cesspit and still manage to live a holy life. It’s just a matter of probabilities.

    There’s fertility charting, and there’s NFP. You can learn the first without getting into the second. I’m of the opinion that practical education with regards to health and other issues is too often neglected, and I think this is a good piece of information for everyone to have. As one from a family with widespread “feminine issues”, having this sort of body awareness is helpful from a health point of view—it’s not always a matter of just fertility but some other things that can have a serious health impact.

    I don’t see why ignorance of what’s going on in one’s body (when one is of an age to understand) is going to be a virtue; that kind of ignorance certainly doesn’t stop people from having sex and I don’t see the knowledge particularly encouraging people to have sex, either.

  • I’m just astonished that no one else thinks this is a bad idea. But I wonder how many of the commenters have teenaged daughters?

    I can’t imagine myself bringing this up to my girls. I don’t want them thinking nonstop about their reproductive cycles- WHY? And strangely enough it is not something they are too interested in.

    They have so many wonderful things going on in their lives. And what if, just as an example, they become religious sisters. Though I think you can pretty much guarantee THAT won’t happen when they’ve spent adolescence thinking about their fertility.

    I wonder too if this excessive obsession with bodily functions, etc. isn’t a symptom of a narcisstic society. After all, it’s all about me- my cycle, my body, how I feel, what I want, who I am, analyzing all my symptoms and other fascinating things.

    If it’s all about knowledge and empowerment and health why not teach children about the rudimentaries of the digestive cycle- after all it’s important. It impacts their health and their lives everyday. Children are forever having problems in that area, constipation, flatulence, etc.

    Who’s ready to explore this? Very few sane people because it is private and intimate and there are better things to spend your time on. Like serving others rather than concentrating so exquisitely on yourself.

  • Mary,

    I’m beginning to be convinced you don’t actually do more than just skim what others have written. That’s the only way I can explain your ignoring what others have already said.

    Yes, some of the commenters before have teenage daughters. And some of the women have already said that it’s not just about reproduction, but that by having this knowledge they were able to notice some serious medical problems before the doctors ever diagnosed them.

    Why should the girls becoming religious sisters have anything to do with it? Is their period going to stop just because they’ve taken vows?

    Why not teach kids about the digestive system? Sounds like a good idea to teach them how their body processes food and perhaps they’ll have good nutrition for the rest of their lives.

    Self-awareness, especially with regard to health issues, is not necessarily narcissism. You might as well accuse as narcissist those who brush and floss daily and go to the dentist regularly.

    Here’s another debating tip: Calling others with whom you are in dialogue insane is not conducive to reasonable conversation.

  • Just on a practical level, when I was in grad school I started to have very irregular cycles. My doctor put me on the pill to regulate them. If I had known then what I know now, I would probably have questioned that medical decision and tried to find out the source of the problem. The pill doesn’t actually treat the problem, just the symptoms.

    I think young women should know more about their cycles simply so they can make informed decisions in a world where the general medical solution to all female problems is to throw the pill at it. (Heck, most doctors will put a girl on the pill even if she isn’t having any problems.) And yeah an NFP friendly doctor would have not done so; but fat chance finding even one in this state! And I’m sure there are other places in the country where they are as scarce. Many young women are very timid when faced with medical professionals. Why would any mother set her daughter adrift in the world without arming her against as many dangers as possible?

  • Dom,

    TJ wrote:

    “Dr. (and Sister) Hanna Klaus started the TeenSTAR program more than 20 years ago.  My wife and I took her training program and we taught TeenSTAR in a parish in Minneapolis for several years.  The program includes the girls charting cervical mucus.”

    then Dom wrote:

    “I don’t support brother charting their sisters’ cycles or even “mucus charting” which is not what I understand Weschler or the other commenters to be talking about. Simple daily temperature charting is non-intrusive.”

    Are you reading every word carefully?

    I’m unclear as to who has teenaged daughters? Daisy? She has two daughters but it was unclear to me if they are teenagers. From what she wrote I got the sense that they were not yet teens. Please forgive my mistake.

    I write in a very robust style about deeply held beliefs. I’m sorry if that offends you.  I think what upsets you is that my arguments are convincing.

  • Dear Melanie,
    I am so saddened to think that your mother and your doctor would have allowed you to be put on the pill in grade school. That is really tragic.


  • No, I don’t find your arguments convincing.

    And, Yes, I did miss the one commenter’s mention of mucus charting. I’m not sure that’s absolutely necessary, but then I’m not a woman nor a medical professional so I can’t say for sure.

  • Mary, I absolutely understand the points that you are making, and the experience that you are drawing from are good to keep in mind. However, I would like to just mention, that knowledge of your reproductive system and a general awareness of your health in that area is very different than daily cervical mucus and temperature charting.

    I don’t know anyone who would recommend that a young girl do these things, unless something out of the ordinary made it a good idea. The issue is, that ignorance of your physical well-being as regards your reproductive system, does not lead to moral decisions – just as knowledge of your reproductive health does not lead to moral decisions. all this is, is information. What we do with it is where morality comes into play, as well as what we teach our daughters. Of course, as you have pointed out, some people who grow up with a good moral foundation still make mistakes. We try, but we cannot guarantee.

    So many women I know, myself included, have make bad decisions based on ignorance of their reproductive health. I have a good friend who had trouble conceiving but forgot to tell her doctor that she had been douching before and after intercourse for years because she thought she was dirty. Another friend thought she was dying when she started menstruating because she was given no education regarding her own body. I’ve known girls who thought you could get pregnant by kissing, and other who thought you couldn’t get pregnant “the first time.” Friends of mine became promiscuous because since their parents refused to educate them – Cinemax did it instead. Girls i know had no respect for their own bodies so let themselves be treated as objects, others thought the pill fixed everything, other’s were just scared to be touched.

    I could give you so many examples. Like I said above, I don’t think anyone is recommending that 12 year old be charting cervical mucus, but shouldn’t they be aware that its supposed to be there? Does it help to be ashamed of your body as a young girl? What happens when some cute boy acts like he worships the body you don’t even understand? and I don’t think anyone would recommend that a teenager chart either, but what if her periods become drastically irregular – should she go on the pill and potentially mask a serious problem until she wants to have children? why not have her able to read her bodies signs so that she knows to tell her doctor something is wrong, and maybe chart for a few months to help her doctor diagnose the trouble?

    Yes, there are young people for whom this type of knowledge will put sexual matters more in the forefront of their minds – but perhaps those are the children who were going to have that happen when they heard about sex from their peers anyway. I don’t know anyone, regardless of how protected from sexual matters, didn’t find out about sex one way or another.

    Kids will find out about sex, they will go through puberty and have hormones flowing, and they will notice changes in their bodies. We have to teach our girls the basics – menstruation, breast growth – why not teach them a little more about their health in that area as well. Since they are probably going to know the basics of where babies some from by the time they are in their mid teens, why not teach them a bit about keeping themselves healthy, and what is normal by then too. Not when they are fertile and how to avoid conception, not what factors increase their chances of conceiving. Just how their bodies work.

    This information is out there for them. We try to teach our children sexual responsibility, so the only sex ed they get isn’t from late night tv and their peers. Curious children will seek out information and talk to others – why not start them our on the right path: give them information along with a strong moral foundation. We cannot guarantee that our children will not make mistakes, but we can’t make that guarantee if they are ignorant either.

    I will end with one last point – you can argue against this as much as you want, but I am 100% on this: If a girl is ignorant of her body, she will not respect it – if she does not respect it, she will not care if others do. This is not a recipe for moral decision making.

  • Dom,

    Sorry if I’m babbling and taking up excessive space – it may be time to let all this go, but I think Mary struck a nerve in me.

    I can be quiet now. grin

  • As long as a girl wants clean underwear, a girl will do some kind of charting. It might be as well to learn a bit more about the whys and wherefores, ne?

  • That second article is great – Sex ed in many schools is too much too soon – much due to the questioning or comments of over-aware peers. It belongs in the home. But I think Mary may be confusing the point here. I don’t think any of us are talking about the type of sex ed that children are often offered in school.

    None of us who are advocating providing children with thorough information, is talking about teaching 12 year old about the intricacies of the anatomy of the opposite sex, the mechanics of intercourse, the availability of artificial birth control, or anything of the type. However, when a children approach puberty, they should be taught the normal things that will happen to their bodies – and the fact that these things are healthy.

    If a child is prepared and mature enough to hear more detail and to ask those types of questions, their curiosity should be met with appropriate further info. Nothing that they cannot emotionally understand, everything within the framework of Christian morality, and from a loving parent.

    There are many children who will not be ready to talk about anything beyond basic biological facts until their much later teenage years. And there are other children who may need some frank discussions about sexual morality much sooner due to the influence of their peers, or other environmental circumstances.

    But yes, as in the article cited: “the sacred mystery of human sexuality should be prudently and delicately revealed by parents in the intimacy of the home.” This can certainly be assisted by outside reference materials – which is where this discussion began. A parent should educate themselves, be aware of the needs and emotional maturity of their children, and “ensure that their children will be educated according to Christian principles and in a way that is consonant with their personal development.”

    In no document that I have heard of or seen cited, does the church advocate withholding biological facts from children who are properly mature and prepared to hear them. The Church trust parents to educate their own children on these issues within the proper framework.

  • Many years ago a dear Jesuit friend who had been an interpreter at VII and at the Birth Control Commission and who has a translation of Humanae Vitae taught a marriage and family course at a Jesuit High School.  The girls at the neighboring high school were allowed to take the course also.

    This course included NFP information and the girls were encouraged to learn the methods.  At every step of the way, he taught the Church’s teachings on chastity and most importantly the WHYS were discussed. He was totally loyal to the Magisterium, something I know because of twenty-three years of conversations over this issue with him.

    His notes and a huge library are housed at the Marc Calegari Library at Tom Hilger’s place (in Omaha I think). They would be a treasure trove for anyone wanting to put together a unified perspective on this subject.

  • Mary,

    I agree the second article raises many good points.

    First, let me reiterate: Parents are the primary educators of their children and that responsibility is inalienable and cannot be fully delegated.

    But one concern the article brushes aside too quickly, I think, is the parent who feels unprepared and ill-equipped to answer a teen’s questions. Just go read this Church document, he says. And that will solve all your problems.

    But that presumes a level of literacy that not all Catholics can reasonably be expected to have. I know many very faithful, orthodox Catholics who simply could not make heads or tails of the kind of technical language used in Church documents.

    There seems to be a disturbing current in many Catholic circles that assumes all Catholics are able and should be able to read these highly technical documents and not just understand them but also practically apply them in their lives and in the lives of their children. however, the average parish is filled with people who may not have gone to college but are very devout and earnestly trying to live a faithful life and to pass on their faith to their children. What they need is help from those who would take those technical documents and create easily accessible materials that they can use.

    I am completely unfamiliar with the programs mentioned, and thus cannot comment on their strengths and weaknesses. (The article refers to a “deeper analysis,” but there is no link.)

    But I can see why they exist: to fill the need for resources that parents can turn to when they feel unable to accomplish their duty on their own.

    Many adults are themselves ill-informed both about the Church’s teaching and about much of the biological information we’re talking about NFP classes providing. Also, let’s face the reality of the secular culture we are unfortunately steeped in: many parents are simply so embarrassed when questions about sexuality arise, it’s a topic that is laced with landmines and parents may have all sorts of personal baggage that makes them uncomfortable addressing the subject. And thus they let their kids be educated by peers or the secular culture.

    I would not advocate a program that separates teens from parents for some “expert” to teach the teen. But I can see the value of a mother-daughter program.

    I can also see the value of a parents-only program. In fact, I think it would be a better option; but I recognize that might not have as big a draw. Human nature being what it is, a mother-daughter program will probably be better attended. It’s hard to get people to participate in adult education classes; but I think the idea of a special mother-daughter day could attract mothers who feel lost, who don’t know how to talk to their teen-aged daughters but who want to grow closer to them and to raise them to be faithful Catholic women.

  • You know what I find fascinating, knowledge=sin.  Bizarre.  I had a mother who sat me down and educated me.  She was fulfilling her moral obligation to educate me. 

    Here is the deal, Mary.  If you don’t educate your children, someone else will.  Who do you want that person to be?