The Cherry Blossom Buds Association
It is recommended that parents associate with other parents . . .
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, 114
All mothers and daughters who register for The Cherry Blossom Buds Program are invited and encouraged to join a Cherry Blossom Buds Association. The Cherry Blossom Buds Association gives mothers the opportunity to associate with like-minded women who are all have the same goal of passing the Church’s teachings on fertility and femininity onto their daughters. The goal of the association is to form a community where mothers are encouraged, supported, and mentored in their task of forming their daughters in a true vision of Christian womanhood.
Members of an association meet once a month at their designated parish for recitation of the rosary, refreshments, and fellowship. Each association sponsors an annual mother-daughter day of reflection, and hosts additional age-appropriate events throughout the year.
There are four levels of membership in a Cherry Blossom Buds Association. Mothers may join as Preparatory Members and begin the Preparation Phase of the Cherry Blossom Buds Program right away, or they may join as Auxiliary members and simply come and see what the Cherry Blossom Program is all about. After a mother completes her preparatory phase, she becomes a Full Member of the Cherry Blossom Buds Program and may serve on the Blossom Board for her local Association. Mothers who serve on the Blossom Board are called Blossom Members. Each Association is led by a Head Coordinator, and, all activities are organized by mothers who hold positions on the Blossom Board. Each Association also has a Priest Advisor, who acts as a spiritual father and leader for the group.
Preparation Phase for mothers
In many cases parents have given up their duty in this field or agreed to delegate it to others, because of the difficulty and their own lack of preparation.
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, 1
Mothers who join a Cherry Blossom Buds Association, complete a Preparation Phase within the first 2 years of membership. During the Preparation Phase, Cherry Blossom Bud mothers take the time to read and reflect on key Church documents, which give them the strong foundation they need to properly form their daughters in the church’s vision of Christian womanhood and the gift of fertility and sexuality.
The Preparation Phase of the Cherry Blossom Buds Program involves three steps:
Prepare to help your daughter embrace her fertility as a gift.
Read Humanae Vitae
Learn Natural Family Plannning
Live Natural Family Planning
Prepare to help your daughter embrace her femininity as a gift.
Read John Paul II’s Letter to Women
Read John Paul II’s Mulieris Dignitatem
Prepare to “Reclaim Your Task”
Read The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality
Three pledges and a promise
During the course of the Cherry Blossom Buds Program, your daughter will sign three different pledges, each representing a milestone in her feminine journey and a new Principle Stage of Development, as outlined in The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality. When the program is complete, your daughter will sign The Cherry Blossom Promise, which corresponds with her final Stage of Development.
The first pledge is The Cherry Blossom Buds Pledge: This pledge corresponds to the first Stage of Development,The Years of Innocence, and was written for girls age 5 to the onset of puberty. Your daughter will sign this pledge during her first Cherry Blossom Festival and will renew it each year during the Festival up until she reaches puberty.
The second is The Young Cherry Blossom Pledge. This pledge corresponds to the second stage of development, Puberty, which is the first stage of adolescence. It was written for girls roughly ages 10 to 15. Your daughter will sign this pledge when her body begins to show the first changes of puberty and will renew it each year during the Cherry Blossom Festival up until age 16.
The third is The Cherry Blossom Pledge. This pledge corresponds to the third stage of development, Adolescence in One’s Plan in Life, which is the second stage of adolescence. It was written for young ladies ages 16 to 18. Your daughter will sign this pledge on her sixteenth birthday and will renew it at each Cherry Blossom Festival until age 18.
Finally, your daughter will sign The Cherry Blossom Promise. The Cherry Blossom Promise corresponds to your daughter’s entrance into young adulthood and the fourth stage of development, Toward Adulthood. Your daughter will sign The Promise during her senior year of high school at the Cherry Blossom Festival (the Festival that is closest to her 18th birthday.) Unlike the pledges, The Cherry Blossom Promise is signed online.
The Cherry Blossom Festival
Celebrating the Gift of Fertility and the Value and Dignity of Femininity
The Cherry Blossom Buds Program is centered around an annual mother-daughter retreat called The Cherry Blossom Festival. The Cherry Blossom Festival is the heart of The Cherry Blossom Buds Program and is where the bulk of your daughter’s fertility and chastity education takes place.
The Festival is scheduled in the spring of each year, when the cherry blossoms are in full-bloom in Washington, D.C., and is a week-long celebration of the gift of fertility and the value and dignity of femininity.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is where the Cherry Blossom Buds pillar of autonomy shines. In preparation for The Festival, our mothers develop personalized fertility and chastity education curriculum plans based upon the unique physical and emotional development of their daughters. During The Festival, a mother-daughter retreat is held in the home and the curriculum is taught. To help our mothers develop their curricula, Cherry Blossom Buds publishes a list of recommended resources each year
During The Festival, the local Cherry Blossom Buds Association also has its own celebration of fertility and femininity by hosting a day of reflection, in which members are encouraged to participate.
Special Devotion to Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God:
Young people especially should foster devotion to the Immaculate Mother of God.
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, 71
The Cherry Blossom Buds Program has a special devotion to Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, as recommended by The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.
The Cherry Blossom Buds Program wants young women to discover the mission and true meaning of their femininity–physical and spiritual motherhood–and encourages young women to take Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God as their model. In The Cherry Blossom Buds Program, the girls are encouraged to reflect upon what it means when the Church says that Mary is Immaculate. They are encouraged to say yes to the gift of God’s grace, just as Our Lady did, and imitate her virtues.
To encourage virtue formation, The Cherry Blossom Buds Program uses a Virtues Journal. The journal is intended to help the girls come to a deeper understanding of a life of virtue and to help facilitate personal dialogue between mother and daughter. The journal is based upon the virtues and qualities necessary for education for love, as mentioned in The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality. Each month, our Cherry Blossom Buds mothers choose a virtue or quality for their daughters to reflect on.
In The Cherry Blossom Buds Program, the girls are encouraged to reflect upon what it means when the Church says that Mary is Immaculate. They are encouraged to say yes to the gift of God’s grace, just as Our Lady did, and imitate her virtues.
The Cherry Blossom Buds Program also has a special prayer to Mary Immaculate, the Virgin Mother of fair love and model of faithful purity, a beautiful title of Our Lady used in The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality. The prayer consists of two parts: one for daughters and one for mothers. Cherry Blossom Buds also uses a beautiful drawing of Our Lady to help the girls reflect on how Holy Mary would live a life of virtue in modern times.
The Cherry Blossom Buds Cycle Awareness Charting System
The Cherry Blossom Buds Cycle Awareness Charting System is a ministry of the The Cherry Blossom Buds Program; however, it is open to all mothers and daughters who are interested in learning how to chart. Anyone may register; you do not have to be a member of The Cherry Blossom Buds Program to use our charting systems.
The Cherry Blossom Buds Cycle Awareness Charting System consists of three age-appropriate fertility awareness programs written for your daughter as she journeys through adolescents. The Cherry Blossom Buds Cycle Awareness Charting System introduces cycle awareness concepts to girls and young women in a gradual and age-appropriate manner. As the girls go from one program to the next, they are taught new and more advanced elements of charting. Lady in Waiting was written for girls who are awaiting their first menstrual period. The next program, Bloom was written for menstruating girls ages 11 to 15 and the third program Revealed, was written for young women of late high school and college age, so roughly ages 16 to 22.
Cycle Awareness takes the scientific knowledge about how the menstrual cycle works that women learn in Natural Family Planning and uses it to create a method of charting that is both accessible and age-appropriate for girls. As a Natural Family Planning Instructor, I often hear young women in their twenties say that they wish that they had been taught this information in high school. For a long time, the awesome knowledge that we gain from Natural Family Planning has been limited to engaged and married women. Every woman, no matter how young, is capable of truly understanding how the menstrual cycle works and every woman, no matter how young, deserves to understand what a healthy cycle looks like. Cycle Awareness makes this information both available and usable for young girls.
Learning how the menstrual cycle works is the first aspect of cycle awareness; however, it is not the most important aspect. Cycle Awareness goes much deeper than the physiology of the menstrual cycle. Cycle awareness opens a window through which girls can discover God’s plan for the feminine design. The Cherry Blossom Buds Cycle Awareness Charting System enables girls to see the beauty and purpose of the gifts of their fertility and their femininity because it shows them how the feminine body was created and how it truly works. Having a deeper understanding of how the feminine body works gives a girl a deeper understanding of who she is at her core—a young woman created beautiful in the image and likeness of God and teaches her that the way she was created has a beautiful and unique purpose. Cycle Awareness, even in its earliest stages, lays a solid foundation for helping girls understand God’s unique plan for the feminine design.