Fr. Philip Bloom of Washington state has a special mission to the people of Peru: He’s teaching them Natural Family Planning.
The Mary Bloom Center, in the highlands city of Puno, near Peru’s Lake Titicaca, is named after Fr. Bloom’s mother. He began the center’s work during his years as a Maryknoll priest associate in Peru, in conjunction with the Canadian lay missionaries Denis and Liane Bruneau.
They wanted their work to pass on what Mary Bloom taught her son about valuing “marriage, family, children, and faith in God.” The center began in 1994, while Mrs. Bloom was still alive.
She died in 2000, but her legacy continues to inspire her son’s efforts to promote authentic women’s health care. Although he is now a parish priest in the state of Washington, he remains president of the center, and leads a group from the Archdiocese of Seattle to volunteer every year.
WOOMB international, which teaches the Billings Ovulation Method of fertility awareness and natural family planning, has partnered with the center to educate married couples, as well as medical workers and young adults.