Monday, February 15 at 6:30 pm Central
The Relevance of the History of the Billings Ovulation Method® to Certified Teachers
Join Martha Winn, RN, who will give a short PowerPoint running through the history of NFP followed by a panel discussion on how the Billings Method™ arrived on American soil as told by Dr. Hanna Klaus, Dr. Maria Girault, Kay Ek, Sue Ek, and Mary Pat Van Epps.
Thursday, April 29 at 6:30 pm Central
The theme will be marketing and promotion of the Billings Ovulation Method®
Tuesday, July 20 at 6:30 pm Central
We will look at the science of the Billings Ovulation Method®
Thursday, October 28 at 6:30 pm Central
The session will focus on charting.
How to overwhelm yourself with new clients in 2021!
Wisconsin Billings teacher, Heather Turner, has found herself with a full client load thanks to several marketing ideas that she started implementing before the pandemic.
Tap into your diocese/parish:
Use the BOMA brochure:
Get on lists:
Have a web presence:
Consider social media:
Now with current clients.
Stretch beyond your borders:
As you can see, promotion can be, “a little bit here and a little bit there, mostly passive and all free” (except for time, supplies, and gas).
If you do all of the above, you'll be overrun in pretty short order. If you are new to teaching, don't be afraid of a slow buildup by choosing a couple of the suggestions.
Be patient with yourself. Learning how to work with actual people and their charts, getting a routine for documenting contacts, and really letting all this information seep down deep in your bones – it all takes time!
To contact Heather, email her at email@example.com.
Q. Tell us about your family and where you grew up.
My dad grew up as a cradle Catholic on a small farm outside Yarmouth, Novia Scotia, Canada. My mum grew up as a Baptist in Yarmouth. She converted to Catholicism before they married. Faith was important in our family. My parents started their married life on the farm. On September 6, 1936, I became their firstborn child with a brother and two sisters who followed.
We lived in Digby, Nova Scotia, which was a town of some 2,000 people. We lived a simple but happy family life and kept in contact with our grandparents. Digby was considered a good port of the Bay of Funday for the scallop fishing boats. It is located about 12 miles from a basic-training naval base. As a result, in my early years, I had an awareness of the Second World War. It intensified when one of my dad's brothers was killed in Italy.
Q. What is the story of your journey to the priesthood? How did you serve the Church?
Looking back, I would say that it started just after my baptism when my parents took me to the statue of Our Lady in that church, in Yarmouth, and entrusted me to her care. She guided me in my human development and following Christ by the example of my parents, who had a strong devotion to her and the Rosary.
The Blessed Mother also helped bring members of the Missionary Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to look after our parish. And with them brought the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception to establish a Catholic school in Digby. The Oblates and the Sisters contributed to my journey to a priestly vocation with the Missionary Congregation of Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
After high school, I pursued a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ottawa, Ontario, at an Oblate University. Shortly before graduation, I heard the call, and in answering, entered the Oblate novitiate in Arnprior, Ontario, in September 1958. It was a year of formation in the Oblate way of life, deepening of spiritual life, and involvement with the manual labor task of running a small farm and community living. It was a good year. The novitiate ended a year later, and on September 8, 1959, I took my first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Then, I returned to the Ottawa area to begin studies in Philosophy and Theology, etc. I took my final religious vows on September 8, 1963, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1964, in the family parish church, St Patrick's, in Digby. The whole day is still vivid in my mind and heart.
After a few years into the priesthood, I coordinated a marriage preparation course at St Patrick's College in Ottawa. During that time, I was introduced to the sympto-thermal method of NFP and heard some things about the Billings Ovulation Method®. In 1968, Pope Paul VI (now Saint Paul VI) introduced the prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae into the mix for marriage and family preparation.
In July of 1974, I was given a new obedience to the Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, as the Newman Center Chaplain. That gave me the opportunity to prepare Catholic graduating students for marriage. Divine Providence provided some people who were aware of the BOM, along with some who wanted to teach it and others who could train them.
Thus, I was able to teach Humanae Vitae and have it backed up through the help of local Billings teachers.
We eventually developed an organization for the province known as WOOMB-Canada, for which I am the spiritual director.
In February of 1978, I attended a conference in Melbourne, Australia, that commemorated the tenth anniversary of Humanae Vitae. That is where I first met Drs. John and Lyn Billings.
The following year, with some of the Catholic medical students' help, we invited the Drs. Billings to speak to the medical school faculty and students.
Q. The Drs. Billings were deeply committed to practicing their Catholic faith. Do you remember when they asked you to be the Spiritual Director for WOOMB-International?
It was a gradual thing. During the early years, Dr. John asked me to be a board member. As the organization grew, he quietly asked for my input when we would meet in different parts of the world.
Dr. John was very aware of the support of Divine Providence and the need to discern its movement. The spiritual advice I gave the two of them was part of my friendship with them. Sometimes we met in Canada, sometimes in the USA, in Rome or Melbourne, as the Lord provided the opportunities. Following one of the conferences in Melbourne, the Board of Directors of WOOMB-International made the position official.
It has been a privilege to have a friendship with the Billings and to have been able to serve them. They were doing the important work that the Lord asked of them for the good of the Church and the world through the Billings Method™.
Q. Tell us about the document you wrote called "Spiritual Direction for Billings Ovulation Method Teachers." In it, you have a fascinating concept of how the devil can attract us away from Billings through the enticement of other good things (volunteering at church, for example). How did that come about?
What inspired that document was an awareness of God's tremendous gift in the Billings Method™ and the importance of each teachers’ work. I knew from my training as a priest that the devil would prevent that good from being accomplished. So, I paid attention. It became clear that his strategy was to exploit the teachers' generosity by encouraging them to become more involved in other good things so that they did not have time to teach the BOM. I realized it would be essential to explain it to our teachers. So, I wrote that document.
Q. Do you see the Billings Method™ playing any role in healing our broken culture in the future?
Yes, keep in mind that grace builds on nature. The Billings Ovulation Method® shows couples how to live their conjugal love more in harmony with Natural Law. The more God's grace can work in marriages, families, and other relationships, there is greater potential for healing our culture.
To that end, we need bishops and priests to be more aware of the positive impact that the Billings Method™ can have on our culture. Once they understand that, they can hardly not promote it.
To read Father Hattie’s “Spiritual Direction for Billings Ovulation Method® Teachers,” click here.
When PayPal notified me that Billings teacher, Barbara Villalobos of San Bruno, CA, had sent us a donation on December 2, I emailed her right away to thank her. She responded with, “Knowing that there are people like you and all the other members of BOMA out there gives me hope and strength to keep going forward through these messy times.”
It was a great reminder that we are all in this messy time together.
Can you help us with a special donation before the end of the year? Perhaps you would like to consider becoming a monthly donor? Either way, your donation would be appreciated, and it would help BOMA further our mission which is to provide the simplest and most personalized care in fertility education with a legacy of evidence-based effectiveness. Click here to donate now! If you prefer to send a check or use Square instead of PayPal, email me at Sue@boma-usa.org. Thank you for considering this!
~ Sue Ek
If you have had a nagging feeling that you need to complete your Billings certification, we have an idea for you.
Project Activation is a new initiative that we will begin in early 2021. We invite anyone who began a training but did not complete their supervised practicum (for any reason) to participate. We also invite teachers who have set aside teaching over recent years and have a desire to resume teaching to join us.
We’re excited to get more teachers listed on our website and available to help couples.
To begin the process, click here to use this form to tell us about yourself and what you think you need to begin 2021 with a great start!
Do you have a testimony to share about how the Billings Ovulation Method has worked in your life? Would you like to share it with others? We are looking for individuals and/or couples that would be willing to share their stories with us. If interested contact Ann Marschel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a special effort to reach Catholic, married couples, the St. Augustine Foundation of Yonkers, NY, is launching a trial. Billings teachers who offer instruction and follow-up in English or Spanish are invited to participate.
The foundation will pay up to $125 to Billings teachers when a couple receives instruction using BOMA PowerPoints parts 1 and 2, and three to four follow-ups. Upon completion, the teacher will email a link to an evaluation form to be completed by the couple and received by the St. Augustine Foundation. That becomes the last step to ensure the couple has received the required amount of instruction and follow-up. In addition, a finder’s fee of $100 will be paid to people who recruit new couples for the trial. The fee will be paid after the couple completes the series as described above.
There will be no cost for the couple receiving instruction and follow-up. So, it’s a win-win.
To ask questions or to commit to being a teacher for the trial, contact John Fitzgerald at
email@example.com or by phone: 914-841-9206.
It was three years ago since my wife and I, moved by the Holy Spirit, decided to create a mobile application for the Billings Ovulation Method, with the idea that it could be free, supported in multiple languages and that it could help users and teachers to chart and to review charts in a more efficient way. We never imagined that this idea, which started as a small and simple project, would become one of the officially approved apps by Woomb International.
What motivated us to create an App?
At the beginning of 2017, by receiving our accreditation from Woomb Mexico®, we began teaching to a close community where we lived. At that point in time, when we tried to use the official approved apps, we found that either the app wasn’t in our language or that after a trial period, our users would be forced to pay a subscription fee to continue charting. This frustrated us since we knew most of our couples wouldn’t be able to afford this fee. That is how we started to formulate a plan to create a mobile application that could offer a free version where you can chart daily and have access to share your chart with an accredited teacher.
How and when was BillingsApp™ was approved by WOOMB International?
We began this project in September 2017, by March 2018 we presented it to our Director of Accredited Teachers, Benjamin Zamudio, who asked us to present it to our Woomb International Directors. The next month, we had the opportunity to do so during the International Congress 2018 held in Costa Rica. After presenting it to the directors, they gave us the authorization to use it for trials in Mexico. Six months later we officially opened the app in Mexico’s digital Stores (Google Play Store and Apple Store). At the beginning of 2019, the app was also opened in Guatemala. We were able to use the app in the Supervisor mode in Guatemala, and teachers in Mexico helped teachers in Guatemala to follow up user’s charts. Finally, at the beginning of this year, we started to work on a newer version that would allow us to support multiple languages and multiple countries. Finally, in September 2017, we presented the project to our directors in Australia who gave us their official approval.
What has been the reaction Worldwide?
BillingsApp™ is currently opened in 22 countries and in five languages. The number of users that are starting to download the app and use it is increasingly rapid. The community is receiving this app with very good and positive feedback. The majority feels this is a step forward and we have many countries waiting anxiously to open the app in their countries too.
What is the future of BillingsApp™?
We have been asked recently by our Woomb International Directors to open the app worldwide. Their desire is to allow women to decide which of the three official apps to use and not limit the app only to certain countries. So, in the last few weeks we have started to prepare the opening of the app in all. My wife and I really like this idea, and as the directors mentioned when they gave us their approval:
“We look forward to working with you to ensure that every woman on earth will be given the opportunity to use the Billings Ovulation Method®.”
About the creators
Adrian and MaryRoss have been married for 20 years and live in Mexico. They have been successfully using the Billings Ovulation Method® for more than 5 years and are Woomb Accredited Teachers since 2017. They fell in love with the Billings Ovulation Method® and their desire is to keep teaching it. Their email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
“BillingsApp™ is made with love, so we can continue charting and teaching with Love”
Q. Tell us about your family and your remarkable life as private pilots.
We've been married for nine years and have a four-year-old daughter, Olivia. We met in college in northern Arizona and we had the same goal of becoming professional pilots. While I don't know if we could claim love at first sight, our first memories of each other were at a new student ice breaker. Not too long after that, we were inseparable.
Ashley flew a Pilatus PC-12 right out of college for a construction company in north Texas, about the time of the 2008 "financial crisis." Unfortunately, the aviation department is often the first area to be cut in times of crisis. Ashley was laid off and became a full-time nanny for some time. She eventually got back into aviation as a scheduler/dispatcher for a private jet charter company. Ashley moonlighted as a Citation Ultra pilot to satisfy the urge for the skies. She has worked her way up the ranks to be in charge of training, regulatory compliance, drug/alcohol program, and safety for the private jet charter company.
Walter became a flight instructor out of college for several years when we moved to Texas. He did aircraft sales, aircraft management, and private aircraft charter flying. While the overnight flying was fatiguing, flying human organs destined for transplant was a fulfilling mission. He currently flies long-range Gulfstreams for a private family out of Dallas. Destinations can be anything from west Texas to Africa and everywhere in between. Flying all over the world has been an eye-opening experience for humanity. Some of the poorest people in Nicaragua and Tanzania are among the happiest he's met. Happiness seems to be more in the psyche than the bank account.
We also formed Johansen Aviation Services in 2012, a small aircraft management, flight instruction, and pilot services company, as a part-time endeavor. Owning/operating our own business is hard at times. Still, it's been fulfilling to serve the aviation communities' nooks and crannies which other firms are missing.
Q. Do you recall when you first heard about the Billings Method, and what attracted you to it?
We first heard about the Billings Ovulation Method when Walter was going through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) to become Catholic in 2012-2013 while Ashley was his sponsor.
During our marriage prep process and during the NFP portion of our prep, the couple who discussed NFP had a honeymoon baby and a baby every 12 months after that and were actively pregnant at the time. Walter says, "Given the hardness of my heart and lacking theological disposition, NFP wasn't just a "no," it was a "hell no." So, onto the pill, we went.
Then, fast forward a few years to RCIA. Walter's heart was significantly softer when NFP was presented convincingly and all the other Truths of the faith. That night we decided to stop taking the pill. Cold turkey, just don't take it tomorrow. We were still deeply in college debt and nowhere near (in our minds) ready for children. Faith is a powerful force in its raw form. An NFP-only gynecologist referred us to the Billings Ovulation Method. We had a hard time finding anyone with the availability to teach us. It wasn't until Tony and Marianne Abadie agreed to teach us over the phone that we began to learn the method. Adventurous times!
Q. What inspired you two to become teachers?
The Holy Spirit! Seriously. But also, because we had challenges accessing the method.
At the time, we found it difficult to begin learning the method when we were ready; as well as we were frightened by our fertility. We honestly thought there was no way we could support a child. Both of us were working/flying full time, trying to pay off our massive college debt. In hindsight, we realize the Billings Ovulation Method, when used correctly, is just as effective, if not more, than contraceptives. With that knowledge and having been in that position, we believe if the Billings Ovulation Method is presented in a convincing and far-reaching way, contraception would be a thing of the past. These feelings were stirring in us when our pastor approached us, asking if we would be interested in teaching NFP.
On top of that, Tony and Marianne were reaching out, asking if current users were interested in becoming teachers. "Ok, God...we get it! We'll do it!" The rest is history.
Q. What keeps you going as a couple who teaches Billings?
Just like any other teacher or instructor, the students who genuinely want to learn are what get you out of bed in the morning; other times, we are blest by our community's commitment to us now and when we signed up to be teachers. Our belief that if Billings were widespread common knowledge, contraception would be eradicated is a strong motivator, too.
Q. Normally, aside from this time of quarantine, where do you usually teach? Do you teach Billings as a couple?
Usually, over our kitchen table, recently over Zoom. We started with group intros at our parish, but attendance didn't support it. The intimate nature of couple-to-couple seems to encourage more open and honest discussion too. Most of our clients are coming to us as a requirement before marriage in the Fort-Worth Diocese. We start with a casual conversational tone. We ask them to tell us about how they met, where they're at in their faith journey, and what they know/don't know about NFP. We reciprocate, focusing a little on our NFP journey off the pill and becoming teachers. We've found this usually breaks down some of the walls, and many clients visibly relax. We keep reminding ourselves they come to us knowing they're going to talk about sex with complete strangers...no doubt there's anticipation and anxiety.
We do teach as a couple. We feel it's imperative to see a couple doing this as a couple. We expect the men to do the charting and the women to focus on their sensations. We're sure to emphasize this is a team sport. We're familiar with the mindset of contraception being a woman's "problem" and "fault" if things don't go as planned. Walter also emphasizes to the men that in his hindsight, he would never ask his wife to swallow a known carcinogen every day. We generally have an uphill battle since they're with us against their will due to the marriage prep requirement and have usually been cohabitating for some time.
Q. As a young couple, it seems you can uniquely reach other young couples. Have you found that to be true?
It's hard to say. Most of our couples have been those preparing for marriage. We want to reach more couples and certainly on a deeper level. We've noticed the vast majority are using contraceptives and don't seem willing to stop. We highlight our history of having been in similar shoes, effectiveness studies, and put any known hesitations to rest.
Just speculating, we think reaching young couples needs to be a large-scale campaign from the theological side and secular side of the equation. It's far too "easy" for the average Catholic couple to quietly use contraceptives and go about their daily life. Contraception is so acceptable and "loud" in popular culture that NFP doesn't even have a seat at the mental table.
Q. You're so good about joining our webinars. We appreciate that! What would you say to other teachers about the value of our webinars?
The webinars are great! We always get something from the content. It's a very flexible way for us to stay current on our teaching credentials with our crazy and busy schedules. It also seems like it's a great way to make a financial contribution to BOMA. Sometimes we feel a bit isolated, off in our own little world teaching. The webinars are a great way to hone our teaching skills, connect with others, and validate our mission.
Q. Do you have words of encouragement to help fellow teachers remain motivated?
Your work is vital. That's a strong statement, we know. It's vital in two ways.
First is on a spiritual level. Though it may not always feel like it, we're at the tip of the spear at the front line of the New Evangelization. The Catholic Church's teachings on sexuality are challenging, if not seemingly impossible, to the average American couple. We can't blame them when the loudest voices in our culture are hyper-sexualization, sensuality, selfishness, etc. As we all know, with a little temperance and fortitude, NFP can be eternally more fulfilling than what our culture would suggest.
The second is on a biological level. Fertility is not an illness to be treated. "Birth Control" has been an "issue" before Christ walked the earth (do a little research, it's fascinating history). Our current medical technologies are simply a more sophisticated means of manipulating the body. These manipulations have consequences. An increased risk of blood clots, cancer, permanent damage to the cervix, and long-term infertility are just a few. Many people go to great lengths to eat healthy, exercise, and not ingest harmful chemicals, yet so many religiously administer their hormonal contraceptive in the name of sex without "consequences." We think the average American isn't aware of or perhaps doesn't understand these consequences. Nor are they aware of effective alternatives. We're regularly running into, "but how effective is it?" "My parents tried this (thinking it's the rhythm method), and it doesn't work." "I've never heard of this." "That's a Catholic thing" (from a protestant bride-to-be).
We feel if the simplicity and effectiveness of NFP, specifically Billings, were presented convincingly, regularly, and on a large scale, contraception as we know it would be a thing of the past. Be confident and effective; the information you have is vitally important to your client's physical health and eternal salvation.
Large Grant Received to Support Health Professionals Training
The Catholic Foundation has recently awarded us a grant for $81,690. This will provide education on fertility awareness, including the Billings Ovulation Method®, to health professionals in the Dallas area.
The Catholic Foundation promotes compassionate, charitable giving and stewardship that serves donors and the needs of the Dallas community. Their vision is to be the primary philanthropic leader whose trusted stewardship satisfies their donors' intentions while meeting the needs of our Catholic community.
We will offer an educational program to students who have been accepted, enrolled, or graduated from a professional program. Fields of study will include medical doctors, nurses, physician assistants, medical assistants, pharmacists, mental health therapists, or other allied health specialty programs.
The curriculum will explore advanced applied reproductive physiology, natural family planning training, and an introduction to using the women’s chart as a diagnostic tool in health and disease.
Emphasis will include science that is typically ignored by most training programs, such as an understanding of Dr. James Brown’s Continuum, types of bleeding, and an in-depth review of cervical function. It will also include a review of the various fertility awareness-based methods and a historical record of reproductive science. Another component will be a Billings Ovulation Method® Teacher Training Course for Health Professionals. It will include official training on how to teach the Billings Ovulation Method®, including ten lessons with charting exercises and assessments. The student will be eligible to become a certified teacher of The Billings Method™. Throughout the course, medical conditions that manifest themselves on the Billings chart will be identified and explained. Trainers will present case studies that deal specifically with common causes of infertility, metabolic, and endocrine diseases.
We look forward to tailoring the training to the needs of the specific student. When appropriate the curriculum can be customized to the experience level and long-term goals of the professional. For example, a practicing physician or allied health professional may want to review a specific reproductive physiology area or diagnostic/medical condition. Physicians may want to have a staff member become trained as the teacher.
The grant includes funding for the BOMA-USA trainers, an online channel for the content and marketing for up to one year.
We are excited for this grant. Thank you to The Catholic Foundation for making this possible!
BOMA-USA provides education and training for The Billings Ovulation Method® which is a natural method of fertility management that teaches you to recognize the body's natural signs of fertility.