A new website aims to lend support and advice to couples struggling to become or remain pregnant. The site, Our Fruitful Love, was designed by the Diocese of Arlington and funded by a generous donation from an anonymous priest.
According to Catholic Herald, the nameless benefactor specialized in counseling couples suffering from infertility. Thérèse Bermpohl, executive director of the diocesan Office of Marriage, Family, and Respect Life, noted that the donor had long wanted to create a website to give spiritual guidance to more couples.
Bermpohl explained the website’s name:
“We chose this title (Our Fruitful Love) because every marriage is fruitful,” she added. “Even if couples are not blessed with children, they can be assured of God’s magnificent plan for their marriage that will bear abundant fruit for them, their families and society. But sometimes that path looks different than what they envisioned on their wedding day.”
The first and primary section of Our Fruitful Love is devoted to infertility. There, the diocese offers practical support in the form of medical information. This includes direction on Catholic teaching on in vitro fertilization (IVF) and contraception, as well as suggested steps for successful natural family planning.
Beyond the practical, Our Fruitful Love offers spiritual guidance as well. The site directs visitors to pages that give biblical examples of infertility, as well as USCCB guidance on what to consider while navigating these waters. The section is rounded out by a list of webinars and podcasts with valuable information and religious perspectives.
The site also offers help for those who have lost pregnancies. A whole section is devoted to miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant loss. Here, the diocese again offers practical and spiritual information, while providing resources to help distraught mothers find peace. For even more support, they direct visitors to a lay apostolate for mothers of miscarried or stillborn babies, A Mom’s Peace.
Supporting someone else
Sometimes it can be just as hard to watch a loved one experience such pain from the side-lines. Our FruitfulLove offers resources to help friends and family better support infertile couples in their struggles. Here, they direct visitors to pastoral writings and guides that inform on the most helpful ways to lend aid.
The website includes testimonies from real Catholic couples who have experienced infertility. The first reflection, provided by Matthew and Elizabeth Marcolini, shows a hopeful couple that has only grown stronger in their faith through the journey of infertility. Their story and ultimate decision to become foster parents is inspirational.
Our Fruitful Love directs visitors to countless and invaluable resources to educate oneself or find a different perspective on infertility. There is more to come, however, as the Diocese of Arlington plans to add a new section that will help visitors find a parish support group. They have not yet indicated if this feature will extend past the Diocese of Arlington.
Visit Our Fruitful Love today to learn more about Catholic guidance on infertility.