the Apostolate for Family Consecration
association of Christ's Faithful
F. and Gwen C. Coniker were both born (1938 and 1939, respectively)
and raised in Chicago. Jerome was educated at de Paul University and
while growing up, he worked at the law firm of Sidley and Austin.
They were high school sweethearts and were married on August 15,
1959. Forty-two years and 13 children later, they are as much in
love as the day they were married. They have 58 grandchildren and
In 1961, when he was
twenty-three years old, Jerry founded Coniker Systems, a systems and
manufacturing company. His business career included invention of
several communications and time management and sales control
systems, methods, and products, including the "Taskmaster"
and "Controlmaster." He has successfully installed his
programs in leading Fortune 500 firms throughout the United States
and Canada, such as Baxter Laboratories, Walgreen's, Kraft Foods,
IBM, Bell Systems, Culligan, Wilson Sporting Goods, etc.
Beginning in the
1960's, the Conikers became increasingly concerned with the erosion
of the Christian values all around them. As parents, they saw the
negative peer pressure that threatened to weaken the faith and
morality of their children. They were particularly concerned about
abortion, sex education in the schools, and the threat to the moral
fiber of our country.
invested eleven years in an effort to wake up people to this
incredible, insidious movement that was threatening family life. The
Conikers observed that their neighbors were becoming more and more
isolated from God and from each other. Consequently, they felt a
call to grow closer to God and to seek His wisdom for keeping their
On April 28, 1971,
they gave their life to Jesus through Mary through the 33-day de
Montfort consecration. Five months later, on September 8th, after
having sold their business, Jerry and Gwen and their seven children
(with one on the way) moved to Fatima, Portugal. Jerry was
thirty-three years old at the time. Their stay in Fatima actually
became a two-year "novitiate" during which they were being
prepared to do what God was calling them to do.
years of prayer and waiting led to their decision to devote
full-time to combating the atheistic influences in the world,
especially as they affected the family. In June of 1973, they
returned to the United States, where Jerry served as the Executive
Director of St. Kolbe's "Knights of the Immaculata" under
Fr. Bernard Geiger, OFM, Conv., who has been Jerry's spiritual
director since that time. In the Holy Year of 1975, on the 18th of
June, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Jerry and Gwen founded the
Apostolate for Family Consecration. The Apostolate was officially
approved by the Church that same year on the 3rd day of October, the
month of the Holy Rosary.
March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, in 1986, Jerry and Gwen
adopted the Christ-centered, Marian, and family spirituality of Pope
John Paul II as the spirituality of the Apostolate for Family
Consecration. Rather than spend years developing and prospecting for
a spirituality that uniquely characterized their family movement,
the Family Apostolate preferred to mine the rich vein of Karol
Wojtyla's (Pope John Paul II) vision for the Church, for family
life, and his emphasis on consecration and the dignity of the human
The Apostolate for
Family Consecration is an international association seeking to
simultaneously sanctify family and parish life in the spirit of Pope
John Paul II. Its mission is to nourish families through the
Catholic Faith in the Eucharistic and Marian spirit of Pope John
Paul II. The Family Apostolate provides continuous tri-media
evangelization and catechetical programs to transform neighborhoods
into God-centered communities through Lay Ecclesial Teams open to
individuals of diverse Church-approved associations.
motto is "All for the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus;
all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary; all in union
with St. Joseph."
Canonical Global Center is located in the Archdiocese of New York.
Its largest center (950 acres) is located at the John Paul II Holy
Family Center, known as "Catholic Familyland," in
Bloomingdale, Ohio. This center includes over 170,000 square feet of
buildings under roof which house a conference center, retreat
center, print shop, television and duplicating studios, graphic arts
department and office buildings. Its major center in Asia is located
in the Archdiocese of Manila, Philippines at the St. Joseph Center,
which is part of the Elizabeth Ann Seton School Complex in Las Pinas,
Manila. The Apostolate has a center in Ireland, under the direction
of Cahal Magee. It also has a major (18-building) center in Mexico
and a center in Puerto Rico. The AFC has members in the United
States, Canada, the Philippines, Africa, Pakistan, Russia and
Central and South America.
On April 29, 1999,
Pope John Paul II appointed Jerry and Gwen Coniker to a five-year
term, as one of twenty couples throughout the world, to be Roman
Curia members of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
On September 3,
1999, the "Daily Catholic" conducted a survey of 23,455
prominent Catholics, who nominated 728 candidates for the "Top
100 Catholics of the 20th Century." Voters chose as the 70th
selection the team of Jerome and Gwen Coniker. Though Jerry received
the bulk of the votes, the fact that they have been in this ministry
together for the past 28 years and have been married forty years,
the voters considered them as one.
Family Apostolate's ministries include:
radio program series. A video library of over 15,000 exclusive
interviews and programs: "Family
Covenant" (daily) "Holy Family Fests" "Spirit of
John Paul II" (weekly) "Be Not Afraid Family Hours"
(weekly) "Healing our Families" (weekly) "First
Saturday Cenacles" (monthly) various devotional novena series
Television Network that broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a
week. Entertains, educates and edifies. A TV network you can trust
that includes all of the above series plus edited movies, sitcoms,
sports and nature shows-all carefully reviewed and edited for
immodesty, excessive violence, disrespect for authority and bad
language. Familyland is broadcast throughout the USA on satellite
and cable and is aired on national cable television in the
Philippines. Also includes "Meet My Friend" and "The
Meeting Place" children's shows and "Destiny
Generation" teen shows.
Catholic Spanish Network that carries our call-in programs and
broadcasts "Be Not Afraid Family Hours" daily.