Advancing Humanae Vitae

Best Practices and Next Steps in Catholic
Health Care Delivery and Education

Conference Was A Great Success! Next Steps . . .

The Advancing Humanae Vitae Conference was successfully conducted on October 11-13, 2018. Over 140 people registered for the event. Conference participants included 50 physicians, 33 nurses, and a wide range of health care professionals, Catholic healthcare leaders, lawyers, and students. The audience appreciated, in particular, the multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary nature of the event. Saint Louis University's Office of Mission and Identity and SLU's School of Medicine CME department were wonderful hosts. The conference started with Mass and a reception on Thursday, October 11, at which Thomas Hilgers, M.D. was recognized for his response to Humanae Vitae and contributions to fertility care science. 

Presentation slides from each session are now available by clicking on the "Schedule" tab. We hope to make audio recordings of the presentations and to offer additional resources available on this website in the near future. Please revisit the website from time to time to view progress and, please, continue to advance the principles of Humanae Vitae.

Hilgers Award 10-11-2018               AHV Session 1  Panel Q&A Session 1


Original Vision

Major Catholic health care and educational institutions, including The National Catholic Bioethics Center, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Ascension, Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Franciscan Alliance, Geisinger Holy Spirit, Mercy, OSF HealthCare, Saint Louis University, and the St. Louis Guild of the CMA decided to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae by hosting a national conference on October 11-13, 2018.  “Advancing Humanae Vitae:  Best Practices and Next Steps in Catholic Health Care Delivery and Education” took place at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. Participants focused on how to better advance Humanae Vitae’s core principles within Catholic health care, particularly in providing care which promotes fertility awareness, fertility restoration, and women’s health, as well as in improving professional education. 

July 2018 marked 50 years since Blessed Paul VI issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed the intrinsic connections between fertility and sexuality within the unity of marital love. Despite controversies in its reception, the core teachings of Humanae Vitae have been reaffirmed by subsequent popes, and the deepest concerns of Pope Paul have been validated.

Blessed Paul VI called on health care professionals in particular to help advance Church teachings on fertility and sexuality (Humanae Vitae #27). Many have responded to this call by engaging in scientific research and developing resources—from teaching and delivery systems to apps—in order to manage fertility and treat infertility without using birth control pills and without the use of those artificial reproductive technologies (ART) that separate the unitive and procreative dimensions of conjugal love. These contributions, which also advance women’s health, are a gift to the Church and the world.

These responses have been dwarfed, however, by substantial changes in health care: in the science and technology of contraception and ART, in the integration of contraceptives into standard health care services, and in the size and complexity of health care organizations, financing, and delivery systems. Addressing these changes constructively and strategically leveraging the resources of Catholic health care to advance the principles of Humanae Vitae are essential for promoting fertility awareness, fertility restoration, and women’s health, and for the vitality of the Catholic health care ministry.

Who Attended:

  • Catholic health care administrators and leaders, including Sponsors and mission leaders
  • Health care professionals and providers, including physicians, PAs, NPs, nurses, pharmacists, and chaplains
  • Faculty at Catholic medical schools, nursing schools, and residency programs
  • Diocesan leaders, allied organizations, and health care ethicists

Topics Covered:

  • Scope and latest science of fertility awareness-based methods and services (FABMS)
  • Best practices in contemporary Catholic health care delivery -- including system-sponsored programs, clinic-based programs, and small or solo practices
  • Educating more health care professionals to appreciate and to offer FABMS
  • Practical issues, including financing and delivery models, marketing and branding, and partnerships to advance the principles of Humanae Vitae






Get Email Updates

Health System Sponsors

Host Organization Sponsors