Meet Our Member: Jeannine and Ben Lochtenberg by Peggy Stofila

June 2, 2023 Article by  

Jeannine and Ben Lochtenberg are both from large families. Jeannine is one of seven children and Ben one of nine. They knew that they wanted to have a big family of their own. They married in 1987, were open to life and had four children in six years. They moved to Manhattan Beach and became parishioners of American Martyrs. They felt called to become involved in the parish, so in 1993, they started to teach a PreCana class. They taught about intimacy, and another couple in the parish taught the NFP portion of the class. After learning about NFP from watching the couple teach, they felt guilty because they were not using NFP. Jeannine has multiple sclerosis (MS) and was on medication that would be damaging to an unborn baby. She was afraid to get pregnant and didn’t trust God. In 1996 they enrolled in an NFP course to learn the Billings Ovulation Method. They found that using NFP helped their marriage; they had better communication, had control and they no longer felt guilty! After learning and using Billings, they continued to avoid pregnancy until Jeannine had a visit with her neurologist and admitted that she and Ben wanted another child. The doctor told her “better do it soon” as Jeannine was 39 years old. She stopped her MS medication and they began using NFP to conceive and welcomed their fifth child in 2003.

JEANNINE AND BEN, WHY DO YOU SUPPORT CANFP? We see a lack of families and marriage in today’s society. We are concerned about how the world is and where it is going in terms of selfishness and lack of accountability, a “victimhood”. We support marriage; commitment, accountability, shared values and how this is imparted to our kids and to the couples we teach. Marriage takes sacrifice. We are examples of this. As we have gotten older, we both look at our parents with such awe. The sacrifices they made, the love they had for each other, their witness. We didn’t see this as newlyweds. So we support CANFP because they provide the tools to help make marriages stronger by providing information and teachers of all the NFP methods. NFP is one of the strongest things to help marriage. CANFP “gets it”.

In 2000, Jeannine and Ben became teachers of the Billings Ovulation Method after the long-time teacher-couple retired. Jeannie says she gets caught up in the details of “the chart” whereas Ben, being a chemist, sees the big picture, and together they help couples understand their chart. Since becoming teachers, Ben and Jeannine have taught hundreds of couples but usually have only met with the couple twice, so they have a hard time remembering all the names and faces. They are however reminded about their impact on couples when they see one of the spouses or the couple in the community and are often approached with “hey, you taught me NFP” or “we had this baby because of you”. Jeannine shares that Ben is often the one recognized—he’s a big guy with a charming Australian accent—and Jeannine is referred to as “Ben’s wife”. Ben recalls a business meeting he attended. During a roundtable discussion, when the room was quiet, a woman at the table said out loud “you taught me sex”. It’s these encounters that give them satisfaction knowing that they have made an impact.

Jeannine & Ben Lochtenberg, Professional Members of CANFP, have been happily married since 1987 and are the proud parents of five adult children. They teach the Billings Ovulation Method through American Martyrs parish in Manhattan Beach. Jeannie is the full time caregiver for her ninety year old mother who lives with them. When they have free time, they enjoy outrigger paddling. This is their “couple time” where they talk and enjoy each other’s company offshore in the peaceful, quiet Pacific Ocean.

Peggy Stofila, Professional Member of CANFP, lives in Torrance, where she works part time as a Physical Therapist and teaches the Creighton Model FertilityCare System