"The Infertility Companion for Catholics" – Review

The Infertility Companion for Catholics: Spiritual and Practical Support for Couples
Angelique Ruhi-López and Carmen Santamaría

Chances are, you or someone you know struggles with infertility. After all, about one in six American couples do. This silent cross is often wrought with confusion, depression, and spiritual darkness, which push many couples toward alternatives like in vitro fertilization or surrogate parenthood.

Until now, there hasn’t been a one-stop guide for Catholic couples facing these difficulties. But two Catholic women, who have each experienced infertility, have produced a new book titled The Infertility Companion for Catholics: Spiritual and Practical Support for Couples (Ave Maria Press, paperback, 256 pages). Angelique Ruhi-Lopez and Carmen Santamaria have created the go-to guide for Catholics experiencing infertility and their book fills a great need.

The Infertility Companion is primarily designed for couples struggling with infertility, yet there’s something for everyone. While my wife and I haven’t faced this ourselves, we know several couples that have. Being compassionate in those situations can be hard as I’m often left wondering what to say or how to help. So I was thrilled to find a chapter in this book on how family and friends can help couples with this burden. The authors provide concrete suggestions, including things you should never say to struggling couples and tips on how to act with compassion.

The Infertility Companion also probes the moral ramifications of different reproductive technologies such as fertility treatments, artificial insemination, and in vitro fertilization. Both authors admit the strong temptation to take the “easy way out,” to use reproductive technology that seem morally neutral at first glance. But like the Church, they encourage couples to explore more deeply solutions that maintain dignity and jive with natural law. Most people will be surprised to learn that the Catholic Church doesn’t offer a blanket “no” to all reproductive technologies. In fact the authors cover seven different technologies that are morally acceptable for Catholics.

The book also beautifully explores the pain and emotions of infertility, especially from a spiritual perspective. The authors show how even though infertility can be a “cross,” it can actually help you grow closer to God and provide deeper meaning and purpose.

The Infertility Companion closes with a robust Appendix full of resources. You’ll find local Catholic ethicists, medical and mental health referrals, and a clear glossary of terms and procedures related to infertility.

With raving endorsements from moms, theologians, pro-life activists, and even a senior researcher at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, this book should be the first choice for those dealing with infertility and a helpful guide for their family and friends.

“For a couple desiring children, discovering their infertility can be devastating. This personal witness of two couple’s faith journey struggling with infertility is uplifting and refreshing. This labor of love is also extremely well researched and solidly within the teaching of the Catholic Church. Highly recommended!”
Rev. Alred Cioffi, Senior Fellow, National Catholic Bioethics Center

Angelique and Carmen are currently touring the blogosphere with their message of hope and healing. Check out their other stops by clicking the graphic below.