The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning

Candid conversation on NFP resonates with reality

HUNTINGTON, Indiana, January 27, 2014 – Popular Catholic blogger Simcha Fisher discovered early that her readers were looking for an honest dialogue on the truth about Natural Family Planning. This spurred her new book The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning (paperback, Our Sunday Visitor, 2014).

Not a guide on the mechanics of the method, this newly available resource from Our Sunday Visitor takes a lively approach to helping married couples cope with the lesser-discussed challenges of NFP, while observing Catholic teaching.

"For those who’ve tried NFP and found that their life seems awful, or who feel judged or judgey, or are just trying to figure out how the heck to have a sex life that is holy but still human, this book offers comfort, encouragement, honesty, wit, and most importantly, practical advice," says Fisher.

"I scoured library shelves for something, anything, that would give me a little information on how to actually live using NFP. I could find books on the theology of it, or on the nuts and bolts of charting fertility cycles, but none on dealing with the emotional and psychological complications". "People have told me they’re glad to finally read in print the kinds of things that were perhaps only discussed in hushed tones among friends."

Born to Jewish parents who converted to Catholicism when she was a toddler, Fisher identifies herself as a Hebrew Catholic, and her writing and viewpoints are regularly featured in several major Catholic periodicals, including OSV Newsweekly, National Catholic Register, and Catholic Digest.

As a singular resource for couples to build and nurture their relationships while following the Church’s lead on sexuality and family planning,

The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning lightens the sobriety of the topic with Fisher’s smart-alecky, comic descriptions of real situations. "We all hear NFP is marriage-building or that it improves communication – yet many of us experience the opposite. It makes us feel like the Church just doesn’t understand sex," says Fisher. But, she adds, life is not free of suffering, even in married life, and NFP actually helps couples to work on their entire relationship and grow in intimacy.

Fisher presents information on how couples struggle with common issues – sexual, communication, even spiritual -- and navigate them.

Praise for the book expands by the day – here are but a few of the many rosy reviews.

Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary blog:

Before The Sinner’s Guide to NFP, the only way you could get this kind of candor on the subject of Natural Family Planning was in private conversations with your best friend. Simcha has taken all the things we think about NFP but feel like we can’t say, brought them into the light, and addressed them with insight and razor-sharp wit. You’ll laugh, you’ll nod your head in recognition, and you’ll ultimately walk away inspired by the kind of encouragement that only someone else in the trenches can offer.

Brandon Vogt, author of The Church and New Media:

In this excellent and witty book, Simcha Fisher unveils the joys, benefits, and the inconvenient difficulties of natural family planning. Refreshingly honest and joyful, the result is a desperately needed resource. All couples should read this book.

Leila Miller of Little Catholic Bubble blog:

This is not a book about how to chart your cycle or how your body works, it’s a book about how human nature and husbands and wives work. Clear writing, refreshing logic, profound wisdom, practical, detailed advice, and laugh-out-loud humor (hooray!) make this unlike any other NFP book you have ever read.

Melanie Bettinelli of The Wine-Dark Sea blog:

I expected the funny parts. I didn’t expect to need a box of tissues sitting next to me as I read. Simcha mixes the perfect cocktail of great humor, profound insights, down-to-earth wisdom, and practical advice. This book is sorely needed, and I’m glad Simcha is the one who wrote it.

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For an interview with Simcha Fisher, please contact Christine Valentine-Owsik at: (215) 230-8095 or cowsik@osv.com.

Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor

Author: Simcha Fisher

Release Date: January 2014

Length: 128 Pages, Paperback

Price: $ 9.95

ISBN: 978-1-61278-787-9

Order www.osv.com

1-800-348-2440

ABOUT OUR SUNDAY VISITOR

The world’s largest English-language Catholic publisher, Our Sunday Visitor serves millions of Catholics globally through its publishing, offertory, and communication services. Established in 1912, Our Sunday Visitor publishes a wide range of books including Bibles, biographies of the saints, books by Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, children’s books, devotionals, bible studies, inspirational works, and curriculum. Our Sunday Visitor is a not-

for-profit organization, returning a portion of net earnings back to the Catholic community through the Our Sunday Visitor Institute. For more information, visit www.osv.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simcha Fisher is a freelance writer, speaker, and mother of nine. She achieves work-life balance by neglecting her work and her life alternately. She blogs at the National Catholic Register and for Patheos at I Have to Sit Down, and is a contributing writer to OSV Newsweekly and Catholic Digest. She and her husband, Damien, live with their children in New Hampshire.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS for author Simcha Fisher

The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning

1. What spurred you to approach and clarify NFP in the way you do in this book – describing all its frustrations and bumps in the marital road?

2. In the book, you get at the heart of real Catholics’ struggles with planning and having families, remaining sensitive to their marriage vows, and yet fighting with themselves interiorly (and maybe as a couple) about the Church’s NFP teaching. How do you think Catholics benefit from reading about these peripheral issues in your book?

3. What does the church teach about family size?

4. What early feedback have you received on the book? Any from non-Catholics?

5. How can the Church relate her teaching on NFP more successfully and attractively, given the fact that most Catholics ignore it altogether? And how does your book assist in that regard?

6. Working on another book after this very successful first one? Like maybe a primer on child-rearing?