Marquette method now taught in archdiocese as another tool for NFP-practicing couples

Rocio Madera

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an option to help Catholic families either achieve or avoid pregnancy, including spacing children. This practice observes and tracks fertility signs to accurately determine when a woman is fertile and when she is infertile. In the same way, the NFP also helps couples who want to get pregnant achieve their goal easier.  

Married couples are called to be “procreators” and follow God’s plan, but this does not mean that couples must have a family of 10 children. If that is God’s plan, it is fine, but it is also God who provides the natural tools and resources as a means for family planning using natural methods and without permanently damaging the sacred biological functions of men and women. 

The Archdiocese of Denver offers workshops and courses for couples who want to learn more about the NFP methods and thus live in grace according to God’s plan. This year, the Archdiocese began teaching the Marquette Model so that couples would have the option of choosing a method that fits them best. 

“I have noticed over the years that not every method suits every couple. There is great value in a diocesan NFP program’s ability to offer different methods that help meet the learning or lifestyle needs of a couple.  NFP does not have a one size fits all approach,” said Carrie Keating, NFP and Marriage Specialist, to the Denver Catholic

Although the Marquette Model has been around for approximately 20 years, it has recently received more exposure through social media and through people sharing their experience using this method. 

Adding the Marquette Model filled a gap within our diocesan NFP program by providing a method that is more objective in its approach to collecting and interpreting the biomarkers of a woman’s fertility.”

Carrie Keating

The Marquette Model method uses the Clear Blue Fertility Monitor along with test strips for women to measure the hormone levels in their urine and identify the beginning and end of their fertile window during each menstrual cycle. If used correctly, this method helps couples trying to conceive identify the most fertile days to increase their chances of pregnancy. For couples who want to avoid pregnancy, this method helps them identify the days they should abstain from intercourse to avoid it.  

“This method is very flexible and has the option to incorporate monitor readings, cervical fluid observations, and temperature readings for couples who feel more comfortable with identifying multiple fertility markers or who are coming from other NFP methods and want to continue using that data,” said Theresa Sullivan, RN, BSN, a local Marquette Method-NFP Instructor. 

The Marquette Model is designed for every woman and couple. The benefits of opting for this method may vary depending on the needs of each woman. Since there are different ways to monitor the fertile phase, this method also helps women with special reproductive circumstances, such as irregular cycles, breastfeeding, pre-menopause, and postpartum. The monitor is very accurate and easy to use at home and this model is “reversible” as couples may change their family planning goals at any time. 

“It is highly recommended to be used only with the guidance of an instructor as this increases efficacy, knowledge, and autonomy,” Sullivan said. “The Marquette Method teachers are all trained medical professionals, including nurses and doctors. We are trained to help women and couples learn more about their bodies and identify any issues that might be preventing cycle regularity or causing infertility.” 

For a couple’s life, the benefits of NFP as a whole are enormous: The wife preserves herself from chemicals or devices and remains with her natural cycle. The husband becomes more involved and is responsible for family planning. They both learn a higher degree of self-control and a deeper respect for each other, which results in better intimacy for the couple. And finally, the couple becomes more aware of their extraordinary and generous contributions and responsibilities as procreators with God. 

“Adding the Marquette Model filled a gap within our diocesan NFP program by providing a method that is more objective in its approach to collecting and interpreting the biomarkers of a woman’s fertility,” Keating concluded. 

For resources on NFP in the Archdiocese of Denver, visit

To find a local instructor for virtual or in-person sessions for the Marquette Method, visit . 

COMING UP: Preparing your Home and Heart for the Advent Season

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The Advent season is a time of preparation for our hearts and minds for the Lord’s birth on Christmas.  It extends over the four Sundays before Christmas.  Try some of these Ideas to celebrate Advent in your home by decorating, cooking, singing, and reading your way to Christmas. Some of the best ideas are the simplest.

Special thanks to Patty Lunder for putting this together!

Advent Crafts

Handprint Advent Wreath for Children 
Bring the meaning of Advent into your home by having your kids make this fun and easy Advent wreath.

Pink and purple construction paper
– Yellow tissue or construction paper (to make a flame)
– One piece of red construction paper cut into 15 small circles
– Scissors
– Glue
– Two colors of green construction paper
– One paper plate
– 2 empty paper towel tubes

1. Take the two shades of green construction paper and cut out several of your child’s (Children’s) handprints. Glue the handprints to the rim of a paper plate with the center cut out.

2. Roll one of the paper towels tubes in purple construction paper and glue in place.

3. Take the second paper towel and roll half in pink construction paper and half in purple construction and glue in place.

4. Cut the covered paper towel tubes in half.

5. Cut 15 small circles from the red construction paper. Take three circles and glue two next to each other and a third below to make berries. Do this next to each candle until all circles are used.

6. Cut 4 rain drop shapes (to make a flame) from the yellow construction paper. Each week glue the yellow construction paper to the candle to make a flame. On the first week light the purple candle, the second week light the second purple candle, the third week light the pink candle and on the fourth week light the final purple candle.

A Meal to Share during the Advent Season

Slow-Cooker Barley & Bean Soup 

Make Sunday dinner during Advent into a special family gathering with a simple, easy dinner. Growing up in a large family, we knew everyone would be together for a family dinner after Mass on Sunday. Let the smells and aromas of a slow stress-free dinner fill your house and heart during the Advent Season. Choose a member of the family to lead grace and enjoy an evening together. This is the perfect setting to light the candles on your Advent wreath and invite all to join in a special prayer for that week.

– 1 cup dried multi-bean mix or Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
– 1/2 cup pearl barley (Instant works great, I cook separate and add at end when soup is done)
– 3 cloves garlic, smashed
– 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
– 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
– 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
– 1 bay leaf
– Salt to taste
– 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend (basil, oregano)
– Freshly ground black pepper
– One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice
– 3 cups cleaned baby spinach leaves (about 3 ounces)
– 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, extra for garnish

1. Put 6 cups water, the beans, barley, garlic, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf, 1 tablespoons salt, herb blend, some pepper in a slow cooker. Squeeze the tomatoes through your hands over the pot to break them down and add their juices. Cover and cook on high until the beans are quite tender and the soup is thick, about 8 hours. 

2. Add the spinach and cheese, and stir until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. 

3. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve with a baguette.