A couple of exciting opportunities are available for you to hear Dr. Pilar Vigil. Check out these awesome events with her that FEMM and TeenSTAR are hosting.
In the spirit of today’s distance learning trend, FEMM is offering a set of three talks by Dr. Pilar Vigil of Santiago, Chile, for $75. The talks are Ovulation as a Sign of Health,
The Ovarian Continuum, and Cycle Patterns.
To register for the 3-course bundle, use this link.
We are pleased to announce that our book for clergy, A Preachable Message, will soon be available as an ebook! When ready, each download will be $10. www.boma-usa.org/store
If you would like to donate a box of 80 Preachable Message books to a seminary or diocese, we are pleased to offer them to you for only the cost of postage, which typically is less than $20. If you prefer a smaller quantity, we have a limited time special of $5 per book plus postage. To order, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hurry! We only have a few boxes available!
“Leadership is about finding your unique blueprint and expressing that courageously, confidently, and vulnerably.” ~ Jennifer Mulhooland
This summer, we will be electing three people for the BOMA-USA Board of Directors. We are currently looking for nominees for the board. Could one of them be for you?
What is Our Mission?
BOMA-USA provides the simplest and most personalized care in fertility education with a legacy of evidence-based effectiveness. We desire to bring knowledge and education to couples and those wanting to learn how to chart their natural signs based on scientific studies.
What Are We Looking for in Board Members?
We are looking for anyone who has a passion for spreading the great news of the Billings Method! We are looking for people who want to make a difference in the lives of couples. Overall, we are looking for a team-player who will be willing to share their ideas, help BOMA-USA thrive and grow, and care deeply about our mission.
What Qualifications Do I Need to Have?
Being a supporter of the Billings Ovulation Method is key to serving on the BOMA-USA Board. Ideally, we want board members to have experienced one of our Teacher Trainings even if they did not complete the certification process. We also want board members to be paid members of BOMA-USA and be willing to donate monthly. s
What Does Being on the Board of Directors Entail?
The BOMA-USA Board of Directors is a working board that meets remotely each month for about 90 minutes. We also have an annual in-person meeting over a weekend. The expenses related to that meeting are expected to be donated by board members with the exception of food.
We are a growing organization, and with that we have many opportunities that present themselves. Also, with being a working board, we are looking for members to help with different committees/task forces.
When elected to the board, each board member serves a three-year term, and then can choose to run for one more three-year term. If elected that person will serve two terms, equally six years.
How do I Nominate Myself or Someone Else?
If you are interested in running for the election that will take place in July, please email Erica at email@example.com. If you know of someone who would give fantastic insight, help, and guidance to BOMA, please contact them and ask them if you can nominate them. If so, have them connect with Erica.
Lastly, we are always looking for board members with different skills. BOMA-USA benefits when we have people in all areas and stages of life. If you are thinking this sounds like something you are interested in, get in contact with us. We want to hear from you!
Carlin and Dave Gould
Q. Tell us about your life as co-director of the Diocese of Santa Rosa Office of Marriage & Family Life Office with your husband, Deacon Dave Gould. How did that come to be?
Throughout our marriage, we have frequently presented in marriage preparation, from presenting at Catholic Engaged Encounters to weekly marriage prep sessions. We have always taught the NFP sections. In going through the diaconate training, word got out that we had an NFP background. Our bishop wanted to establish a new Marriage and Family Life Office with the first goal being to update and rewrite our diocesan marriage prep policy. Several months after ordination, we got a call from Bishop Vasa asking us to be co-directors of that office. How can you say no to your bishop? We have been the co-director for two years now.
Q. Where and when did you and Dave meet?
Dave and I met in college. We were both Natural Resources Management majors. What could be more important than to manage the natural resource of your fertility than knowing how to keep your body healthy by using NFP?
Q. What led you to become Catholic?
Dave has always been a very faithful Catholic. I wanted to be united to him not only in marriage, but in faith too. I took RCIA classes about a year after we were married. I like to say I got the quadruple whammy on that Holy Saturday Vigil; baptism, confirmation, first communion, and retroactive matrimony. It has been a wonderful adventure, and I am continually learning more about this wonderful faith of ours.
Q. How are you managing marriage prep, RCIA, and other programs during this COVID–19 era?
Some of our programs were already offered online, though most are in person. We are definitely learning how to “Zoom.” We are being flexible and using it “at the pastor’s discretion.” Most engaged couples we have been working with are getting married in July or later, so we have some time to be flexible.
Q. What is it like being the wife of a Catholic deacon?
It has been a great adventure. I’m very proud of Dave when I see him assisting at the altar, reading the Gospel, and preaching at Mass. Outside of liturgy, we teach baptismal classes, RCIA, Bible studies and, of course, share our unique role at the chancery as married co-directors of the Marriage and Family Life Office. We have done some speaking and will be a deacon witness couple for an upcoming deacon workshop on NFP for another diocese. We have met some wonderful, faithful people through the diaconate process who have become good friends. All that, and I get to iron his albs too!
Q. What about the rest of your family?
Using NFP helped us plan our family. We have three children: our son, Galen, and his wife, Jess, live in St. Joseph, MO, our daughter, Timithie, and her husband, Nick, and our two granddaughters, Eva and Eleanor, live in Altadena, CA, and our daughter, Katrina, lives in Burbank, CA. We are also caregivers for both our 92-year-old mothers who live in care facilities here in Sonoma. We haven’t been able to physically visit for two months now because of COVID-19. We have appreciated technology, so we can Facetime or Zoom with them.
Q. You have been a Billings teacher for many years. Were you always committed to Billings, or did you switch from another NFP method?
I was the “none” (no religious affiliation) hippy chick who first learned Billings in 1979, just a few years after the method was first taught in the U.S. It was so simple to learn, and I was looking at it from a health perspective. We used it to postpone pregnancy for the first two years of our marriage. With Dave being a State Park Ranger, we moved several times in his career. After our first child was born, I wanted a refresher, but there were no Billings teachers in our area. I learned the sympto-thermal method, but forget to take my temperature after being up all night nursing an infant! Then, I found a Creighton Method teacher, but couldn’t fit my intuitive knowledge of my body into the standardized recording system of that method. With three children and another move, I had the opportunity to become a Billings teacher learning from a VHS video series (“What Every Woman Should Know” with June and Roy Frakes). I know, I’m telling my age! I have never looked back and have felt Billings is the best method out there. Like our new PowerPoint program, Billings is “Pure and Simple.” Billings has it all, the science, the simplicity, the ease of use. I also had the pleasure to personally meet and speak with the Drs. Billings when they came to Santa Rosa years ago. Their humbleness and love were visible in how they talked about the method.
Q. Living in California, in the midst of a culture that is kind of unique, what kind of reaction do you get from engaged couples when you talk about the Billings Method?
Yes, this is the land of fruits and nuts; both produce as well as personalities! Most of the couples I have personally worked with are very open to learning the method or at least learning more and asking lots of questions. Our biggest challenge is finding people willing to teach. Our diocese, whichincludes the west half of the state from San Francisco to the Oregon border, has only three Billings teachers. We have to find those willing to be teachers and witnesses to the truth and beauty of living the way we were designed.
Q. Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do outside of work?
In my spare moments, of which there seems to be a lot more of lately, I enjoy reading, my daily walks, needlecrafts of all sorts, working in the garden, and cooking. Fortunately, Dave enjoys the fruits of these activities, especially the cooking part.
Q. We have been very grateful for the time you have carved out of your packed schedule to serve as a board member. As an outgoing board member, what would you say to encourage others to run for our upcoming election?
I have met and gotten to know many wonderful people by being on the board. It has helped me stay connected. The organization is moving in a great direction, and any current board member or new board member will be part of this dynamic change as we move forward to reach more people and teach them about the beauty of the Billings Ovulation Method.
Q. Lastly, being that you live in the heart of wine country in Sonoma, do you visit the vineyards very often? And, if so, what is your favorite vineyard? Is there anything wine lovers should consider ordering?
We are missing being able to go to our local wineries to sip a glass and enjoy the view, as they are not considered an “essential” business! Says who?! We enjoy Trinitas Winery in Napa and Roche Winery here in Sonoma owned by our good friends. We enjoy a good Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc during the summer listening to the fountain on the patio and watching our garden grow. We also like a good Cabernet in front of the fire in winter over a hot pasta dish. Of course, the best part is the friends and family who are with us when we are enjoying the moment. Cheers, Salud, Probst, Na Zdrowie!
Pure & Simple! Presentation
The Pure & Simple! presentation is designed for Billings Teachers, who need a shorter presentation to explain the basics and advantages of The Billings Ovulation Method. (This is a Power Point presentation, so you will need to have Power Point installed on your computer to view it.)
Available in English & Spanish!
Our hard-working Education Committee has created a new PowerPoint using our BOMA slides, called “Pure & Simple.” It is designed for Billings Teachers, who need a shorter presentation to explain the basics and advantages of The Billings Ovulation Method.
It is not to be used for teaching the Billings Method.
It’s a great tool for our teachers who want to reach an audience who may not already know of (or be convinced of) our best-kept secret. Ideal for marriage prep, women’s groups, health & wellness classes, RCIA, etc., this PowerPoint fits a real need!
Remember Pure & Simple is not to be used for teaching The Billings Method! BOMA-USA Teachers are expected to use the BOMA PowerPoints, Parts 1 and 2, for teaching the Method.
Available in English & Spanish!
$20 per language
After submitting payment through our store (or by mailing a check),
the presentation will be sent via email.
Because the presentation was created with a specific sequence of
the BOMA slides, we ask that you not alter it in any way.
It is copyright protected.
After submitting payment through our store, (or by mailing a check), the presentation will be sent via email.
To mail a check:
P.O. Box 2135
St. Cloud, MN 56302
Announcing a New Way to Connect:
Billings Fellowship Hour
Eat humble pie on May 13 at 8 pm Central
“Humble Pie” is the theme for our next Billings Fellowship Hour on Wednesday, May 13, at 8 pm Central. This free, members-only Zoom meeting will feature longtime Billings teacher, Elaine Naugle of Oklahoma, as our lead person. She will explore some of her personal experiences of being a Billings teacher who did not always clearly understand some of the intricacies of the Billings Method™.
Elaine encourages teachers to join her in “eating humble pie” to sharpen their knowledge and reinvigorate the desire to be a teacher of excellence. To register, email Sue: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teacher Training from the comfort of home!
In case you missed the announcement, we are starting a Remote Teacher Training on May 4. If you move quickly, there is still time to join us or refer friends. This training qualifies for the renewal of certification, and it is the most convenient way for someone to start the process of becoming a teacher. Here are the details: https://www.boma-usa.org/remote-teacher-training.html
Exciting things are happening thanks to the Saint Augustine Foundation!
Through the generosity of John Fitzgerald of the Saint Augustine Foundation (SAF), a program is available to pay for the teaching of the Billings Method to Catholic couples. Couples may be married or engaged to be married in the Church. In addition to offering scholarships that teachers can promote to their couples, SAF is particularly interested in partnering with dioceses to reach more Catholic couples. Here is what you need to know.
Q. Tell us about your family and how you came to be a homeschooler.
My husband and I met in high school and have been married for almost 19 years. We have five children (on earth). They are all unique; Liam 17 (the historian), Kiernan 15 (the piano man), Adria 11 (the happy socialite), Brigid 8 (the lovebug), and Margaret 5 (Miss Dimples, who takes care of everyone).
My husband is an environmental engineer and is the director of public works for our city, Holyoke, MA. He's been in that position for the past couple of years after many years in a corporate job. I am a stay-at-home-mom, and yes, we homeschool our children. God kept nagging me to do something, so; I had to give in. We had initially thought we would send our kids to the nearby Catholic School, but somehow it just did not seem like the right fit. We absolutely loved the Waldorf school nearby, but the cost was prohibitive, and we would still have to supplement at home for Catechism. Then we met some homeschoolers, and I thought, "People actually do that?" As we investigated the possibility by going to conferences, meeting more homeschoolers and their children (both Catholic and not), and doing lots of reading and a ton of prayer, we grew to know that these were our people, and this is where God was calling us. My husband didn't think I was crazy, and I have had such peace.
There are abundant options when it comes to homeschooling, and we can integrate both our Catholic faith and the Waldorf method. We have participated in cooperatives. The older children take online classes, and we are also blessed by a sweet little school that allows us to come for some classes as needed for our high-schoolers. Our oldest has also done a few courses through dual enrollment at our local community college and Holy Apostles. We have enjoyed the flexibility to go camping in the offseason, with our school work coming along with us. Or being able to drop morning school to help dump maple sap buckets with my uncle and have school in the afternoon and evening. We get to go to museums and libraries when they are not so busy, and the docents have plenty of time for us. Our flexible schedule allows for getting appointments in during the middle of the day when, otherwise, there aren't openings. I had thought we would do this for a while and then go back to school at some point, but we are having so much fun Homeschooling does have it challenges, but overall, we enjoy it!
Q. Have you always been a Billings couple, or did you use another NFP method prior to Billings?
When we were engaged, there was an ad in the bulletin about NFP. The local gal taught Creighton, and she was very patient and kind. Then, someone suggested that I should teach NFP as the lady we had learned from was no longer teaching. As it turned out, the diocese didn't have anyone else teaching for the past several years. Well, I thought, "Maybe someday, but not while my kids are so little." But I prayed on it and kept hearing this, "Well, then, who is going to do it?" I said, "God, you want me to do WHAT?!" So, I asked my parish priest. He said, "If God is calling you to do something, you should do it yesterday, not tomorrow."
When I suggested the cost of Creighton training the priest said NFP is so desperately needed in today's world that the parish would pay for it if needed. I forged ahead but found that I was not truly qualified to teach Creighton because I had no nursing or medical background. But, I was told they could make an exception. Also, if I could just get a few more ladies who would be willing to go through the training, they would host a training at my parish. My pastor was also excited about this idea. I called some ladies I thought might be interested and one said, "Sorry I cannot teach Creighton when I use Billings." This opened my eyes to the possibility of other options.
Interestingly enough, at that time, I was unaware that other methods even existed. Between my friend and her referral to Eileen Wood, I was convinced that this was the best way to go. There were so many similarities, but oh so much simpler. The clincher for me was that the cause for sainthood was open for Drs. John and Lyn Billings who developed this method. Billings has been so much more natural and not so technical that it fits my temperament. Yet, I can still offer plenty of science for the friend/client who needs to know all the technical stuff.
Q. Having gone through a Teacher Training led you becoming a board member. How has that experience been? Is it what you expected?
I'm not sure what I expected. I am not surprised that I feel ill-equipped and humbled by this whole experience. However, the goodness, patience, and charity shown by all the other members, both new and experienced, have felt very much like a group of good friends working on a serious project together. We all want to make the Billings Method more known and accessible, and it has been very exciting. I have learned quite a lot and when I don't understand some technology like Zoom meetings, or the "why" a certain decision was made in the past, or if there is a difference of opinion on a current idea, there has always been time taken to explain it. This experience has pushed me past my comfort zone in many good ways. Being on the board has sure been a good character-building thing for me.
Q. During our board calls each month, you are probably our most creative board member, always "thinking outside the box." In fact, those who donate monthly have received a Christmas ornament these past couple of years that were personally made by you, using a kiln in your home. How did you end up with a kiln? You're probably the only Billings teacher in the world who has a kiln! What is the process for making the ornaments?
Thank you, that is nice of you to say. I might be more artsy than some, but the ideas that other members have are also very creative. Anyway, my grandmother had a ceramic studio in her home since my mom was young, so I grew up with it. When my grandmother passed away, my mom and one of her sisters decided to split the business. They each took one of the three kilns, selling the third. They split the plaster molds, etc. Throughout high school and college, my mother and I went to seminars and workshops to be certified in the use of different product lines of glazes and brushwork classes. In the summers, we ran week-long kids painting camps, and all year my mom still holds classes three days a week. We joked that the classes just funded our addiction/hobby.
When my aunt downsized, she gave me her kiln which is very old now and needs new heating coils. So, the ornaments were fired in my mom's newer Skutt kiln. Most of what we do is hobby ceramics, which is pouring liquid clay into plaster molds that then form into the vase or plate or figurine. My second son has been more interested in hand building pottery and for his birthday last year got a pottery wheel. That is now in our basement where he has his own space, and the little girls like to watch him. He has even harvested and cleaned his own clay from our stream bed.
Last year, when I made the BOMA ornaments, I put a crochet doily down and rolled the clay onto that into a pancake, cut out the snowflake with a cookie cutter, stamped in the logo, and lifted carefully to drill a hole for the ribbon and allowed it to dry. Once dry, in a few days, we sand them and smooth the rough edges before they are fired (not an oven at 500 but still considered low fire at 1930 degrees). I used a translucent glaze and fired again at a little lower temp.
Q. What other creative projects do you work on throughout the year?
I do like to make things. In fact, I am the handwork teacher at our homeschool co-op. This year we made little notebooks and sewed a book cover. Some of the kids got as far as embroidery on the cover. We made wooden butter knives carved with really sharp knives. We made footstools all cut with a hand saw and manual hand drill and upholstered.
All my children know how to knit, and that is always the first thing that I teach. For small children, it is important for building those brain synapses before learning to read, and there are so many articles about how important it is to use both hands for brain functions. Knitting is my go-to, as it is easily transportable. It is calming, and I end up with something practical or giftable, so I feel I am not wasting time.
I have a sewing machine and like to fiddle making wool pants for my little ones or upcycling some old husband clothes into something cute for my girls. We had an angora bunny for a few years and now have plenty of wool for spinning on drop spindles or treddle wheels. With being on the board, I have had to travel for a few meetings and have taught myself how to crochet so that I don't freak people out with big knitting needles. That has been fun.
Of course, homeschooling presents itself with many opportunities for experiments: kids who want to learn to use the band saw, or painting or drawing about Vikings in the main lesson book, or sewing Laura Ingalls' sunbonnet. Soon we will be spending quite a bit of time in the veggie garden.
Q. We're approaching another board election, what would you say to someone who is considering being on the board?
Well, if I can do it, then no one else should be worried. We are a team, so where I lack someone else has the rest. And, where someone else has the "what if," maybe you have the idea or the know-how to bring it through. It is not a one-person show. I have learned so much about BOMA and also about the people. Here in Western MA, I am the only Billings teacher and one of three NFP teachers. We feel very alone and sometimes out of the loop. Since being on the board, I have met others who are equally concerned for marriage in our time. People who live real lives in the real world, who may have a different approach that helps us all grow, not only as an organization but as a person. There is usually someone who says "wait we need to pray" or someone who just is not sure about a quick decision that encourages discussion, and a new better plan comes up. I have been "stretched," no question, but in a good way. I have learned more computer skills that others seem to have already. I think if you have a unique perspective, which we all do, then maybe you should prayerfully consider being a part of the board.
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.