Who we are

You'll find Serena's services across Canada. Each province has its own Serena teaching team. In BC, we've been serving couples and families since 1975. We are real people, real husbands and real wives, with real stories. We also happened to have zeal for NFP and are trained and accredited to teach the Sympto-Thermal Method. As volunteers, our provincial team has grown and waned over the years. Regardless, Serena has remained with its method ever effective and always improving.

Get to know our current team -- we’re sure pleased to meet you!

Suzanne

/ Dr. Suzanne Parenteau, MD

Medical Advisor, Serena Canada

I started to work for a group that later became Serena while I was still a medical student at the University of Montreal. At that time, I worked with Dr. Claude Lanctôt (who has since retired from both gynecology and public health) in researching the scientific foundations of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and specifically, of the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM). It was a remarkable experience for us to work with founders Rita and Gilles Breault in developing the practical tools (such as specific charts, general instructions and various publications) for couples interested in adopting the STM as their NFP method. I have been blessed with great opportunities to speak internationally. In addition, I have served as a board member and President of the International Federation for Family Life Promotion subsidised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and other international institutions devoted to development. One of the highlights of my research career was providing the Canadian samples for two major international clinical studies: one about the effectiveness of the STM, and the other about the return of fertility in breastfeeding mothers. I’ve performed many empirical studies to answer questions triggered by new basal thermometers, various chemical or electronic ovulation detectors, the contribution of detailed cervical mucus observation, cervix self-examination, and cycle changes associated to menopause. It is a joy for me to work with Serena and to help married couples and families thrive.
A L

/ Agi & Laslo

Teacher-Couple

We have been a teacher-couple with Serena BC since 2004. Agi is a Registered Dietitian and Laslo is a Registered Nurse. We had actually learned a mucus-only observation method first but struggled with it. Being able to cross-check through the STM gave us more confidence. Currently, we’re focused on teaching the STM to couples preparing to get married in the Archdiocese of Vancouver. With both of us working in health care, we feel that fertility is a natural part of life. So often we meet young women who have been on the Pill for a decade and they had no idea there is a natural alternative! Though we don’t have a lot of time, every time we finish teaching, we feel the appreciation of the couples we taught and that keeps us going.
C R

/ Colleen & Ray

Teacher-Couple

We learned the Sympto-Thermal Method with Serena BC in 1983 when we were engaged to be married. Ray’s sister practiced NFP and it appealed to us because we were concerned about the negative effects of the Pill. Healthy living and the environment are really important to us and we feel very strongly that it is better for our world to use natural methods. A teacher-couple invited us to become Serena BC teachers and we finished accreditation and started teaching in 1984. We haven’t looked back! As busy as life got while we raised our three children we never dropped Serena from our volunteer work because it’s great being able to help educate others that you don’t have to put anything into your body to regulate fertility. Not only that, NFP is convenient, cheap, and improves communication between couples.
Marcus Hannah Team

/ Hannah & Marcus

Teacher-Couple

We first heard of Serena when we attended our Marriage Preparation course but we actually ended up learning another method of Natural Family Planning at that time. We have successfully used NFP to plan our family since we were married in June 2012. After being approached by a Serena teacher-couple, we decided to learn the Sympto-Thermal Method in the hopes of teaching together. We were motivated to undertake the accreditation process to become teachers by the desire to share how beneficial NFP has been in our lives and marriage with other couples. When we learned the STM, we appreciated how all-encompassing it was by allowing us to track our fertility using three variables. This provides us with the confidence and reassurance of where Hannah is in her cycle, especially postpartum. We are so excited to start teaching with Serena!
Jackie Tyler Team

/ Jackie & Tyler

Teacher-Couple

We have been an accredited teacher couple with Serena BC since 2009. We found out about Serena BC from a colleague when we were looking for a way to manage fertility naturally. As a nurse, Jackie had a more of a scientific approach: know your body and your cycle for health reasons. Tyler liked NFP because of the benefits in communication and also being open to life. Though it was a busy time for both of us (we were both finishing our Masters degrees), we decided to become a teacher couple because we really believed in this method of family planning and we both saw a need to promote knowledge and awareness of NFP. We currently have two children and busy careers, but the appreciation expressed by many couples make teaching and volunteering so worthwhile and rewarding!
Jen Stefan Team

/ Jen & Stefan

Teacher Couple

Boiled down, this is what we have to say about NFP: It is beautiful. It is good. It has made our marriage better (and continues to). Our Serena story began 7 years ago at Marriage Preparation. Agi and Laslo, our first teachers and now good friends for life, sensed our energy and love for solid marriage and family life. At the first of our many shared meals together, we accepted their invitation for us to teach as a couple and for Jen to take on an administrative role for Serena BC. In the 6 years of our marriage, we have used Serena’s STM to both avoid and achieve pregnancy. We are blessed with 2 beautiful children. As young family life permits today, we give our time to Serena. We teach less now as we give more in a directorial capacity, doing our best to build a better backbone for the organization and NFP in general.
Mary Alice Team

/ Mary Alice

Teacher

My husband, Julien, and I first learned the Sympto-Thermal Method in the ‘70s, but it wasn’t until 1982 when we taught our first NFP class. I always found it very rewarding to get couples going in this way of life because it was so important to me and so easy and so amazing. We focused on our work with Serena alongside raising our four children. At one time we served as president couple at the local, provincial and national level all at once. We helped with Marriage Prep and taught regular classes, usually in downtown Vancouver. I would teach the anatomy and physio aspects and Julien would do the charting -- he was very good at interpreting charts! After he passed away in March of 2014, I continued to help Serena BC with training, bookkeeping and teaching perimenopausal or menopausal women.
Andrew Olivia Team

/ Olivia & Andrew

Teacher Couple

We discovered Serena BC and the beauty of the Sympto-Thermal Method when we attended Engaged Encounter. Not only is this method of Natural Family Planning in line with our faith, it is effective, natural with no chemicals or hormones, and easy. All it takes is a few minutes a day to take your waking temperature and chart symptoms. During our four years of marriage we have used NFP to both avoid and achieve pregnancy. As we raise our daughter we are blessed by the benefits of NFP. While abstinence can be viewed as a challenge we see it as an opportunity for romance, taking time to focus on other aspects of our marriage and intimacy before we come back together again. We recently finished the accreditation process to teach with Serena BC and we’re so excited to share the message that Natural Family Planning is effective and good for marriages.
Karen

/ Karen

BC Coordinator

When I joined the team in 2011, I was excited to bring my experience as a journalist and administrator to help more people learn about the effectiveness and benefits of the Sympto-Thermal Method. Because I work part-time flexible hours I am able to reply to inquiries evenings and weekends as well as more typical business hours. My husband and I used a calendar method of NFP for the first few years of our marriage, but after we had children we needed more support to determine the phases of fertility and learned NFP. I regret that we didn't learn the method during marriage preparation, but like so many couples we didn't really understand the science and research behind the Sympto-Thermal Method. In addition to raising my family and helping with the administrative needs of Serena BC, I’m also working on finishing the accreditation process to help teach the after childbirth component to couples.