Infertility Fact: Approximately 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy (CDC). A couple aged 29 to 33 with healthy reproductive systems has only a 20 to 25% chance of conceiving in any given month (Resolve).

Infertility Awareness: While the Church rightly celebrates the gift of a child and holds large families as a sign of God’s blessing and the parents’ generosity (CCC 2373, 2378), conception does not occur automatically or even easily for every couple. Sometimes people in the Church unwittingly, but wrongly, assume that small families are not open to life. These assumptions can be very hurtful to couples struggling with infertility, since their lack of children is tied to their choice to follow the teaching of the Church (i.e. by refusing unethical treatments).

Action: Challenge assumptions you may make when you observe another family’s size. Perhaps the couple in the pew with zero, one, or two children wishes they had more. Remember that while large families are beautiful signs of a living faith in God, small families, in a more hidden way, bear witness to trust in God’s providence through their resignation to His will.