It Starts With You
As a Catholic parent, God has entrusted you with the important mission of guiding your family's Catholic faith on their journey to Him.
Guiding your family to Heaven is a beautiful, messy, humbling, challenging, and exciting adventure! And in today’s world, your mission to lead your family to God is more critical than ever before.
Your Influence MattersHow you use that influence matters.
50% of kids who are raised Catholic choose to leave the Church as adults.
Someday, you may wonder whether your children will make the Catholic Faith their own.
Your time with your children is precious.
It's Easier Than You Think
A recent study suggests that when parents practice the Faith, by meeting the most basic requirement of weekly Sunday Mass, 75% of children will stay Catholic.
But in families that are striving to place God at the center of their lives—through prayer, regular reception of the sacraments, and meaningful time spent growing in the Faith together—incredible change is happening.
Children of families that are living God-centered lives are very likely to remain in the Catholic Faith. By the grace of God, and because of early, positive experiences within the family, the Faith (which was previously just their family's Catholic faith) has now come alive in their minds and hearts.
Even more than that, families that make God the center of their lives (not just a part) are transformed.
The anxieties of daily life don’t disappear. Trials come that test their trust in God. So family members fall and have to get back up again, asking forgiveness from God and each other. But despite the struggles, these families experience greater joy, unity, and peace, because their lives are rooted in and centered on Christ.
If living a holy, faithful life is a priority for you as a parent, there’s a greater chance that it will be for your children too. That’s why your daily example of faith is vital. In short, your family's Catholic faith starts with you.
And We Can HelpBecause Your Mission is Our Mission
At the Apostolate for Family Consecration® (AFC), our mission is to empower you to create experiences that make your family's Catholic faith come alive for your children. As a result, your family can become what God wants you to be—a family on fire for Him—and then share that light with others.
We are here to support you through:
We’re so excited to journey with your family on the way to Heaven.
This Mission Beganwith an Ordinary Family
Like many Catholic parents,
Jerry and Gwen Coniker desired to raise their children with strong values and solid faith. Yet, even though God was a part of their life, they failed to make Him the true center.
After a tragedy
that deeply shook the Coniker family, especially Gwen, some friends invited them to make a Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. It was only then that the Conikers began to understand the importance of a family life rooted in Christ and started to pray the daily Rosary as a family.
As Christian values in society continued to decline,
Jerry and Gwen also realized that the battle against sin was not political, but spiritual.
The Conikers thought
they could protect their family from the spreading moral decay by moving to Fatima, Portugal, where the Blessed Mother had appeared in 1917.
But after two years in Fatima,
it was clear that God was calling Jerry and Gwen to return to the United States to begin sharing Our Lady’s call to prayer, reparation, and holiness of life with other families.
Inspired by the message of Fatima
and seeking a way to strengthen and encourage Catholic families—including their own—to live and grow in the Faith, the Conikers began to ask for God’s guidance.
In 1975, after much prayer,
the Conikers founded the Apostolate for Family Consecration®.
During the ministry’s founding years,
Jerry and Gwen had sixteen personal encounters with Pope St. John Paul II and, with God’s help, established five international mission centers and a worldwide television network.
It Has Grownto Include Thousands of Families
No other apostolate of the Catholic Church does as much to help bring families closer to God by providing proven tools in an atmosphere of love and fellowship in Christ. Family Fests at Catholic Family Land have been a huge blessing for our family. The Holy Spirit truly moves in this organization! Consecrate *your* family to the Holy Family. Consecrate them in the Truth! It will change your life forever.Eric, via Facebook
The Apostolate gave our family hope though their Christ-centered message and life-changing resources, retreats and Holy Family Fests. The impact of Consecrating our family to the Holy Family is unquestionable. It has changed our family life.Ben, via Facebook
I highly recommend getting involved with this great Apostolate. This is truly a life changing organization and one day will be world changing.Paul, via Facebook
Our family is forever changed because of our involvement in the AFC. There is nothing more important than our family’s Consecration to Jesus through Mary in union with St. Joseph. It is a daily Blessing as we journey towards Heaven. My husband And I are Blessed and grateful to have made our Life Commitment as Disciple Members in the AFC yesterday.Christy, via Facebook
Animatedby a Unique Charism
Expressedthrough a Balanced Spirituality
Holiness leads to happiness, the true happiness for which we were created: union with God. At the AFC, we seek to grow in holiness by living a spirituality of Family Consecration.
Family Consecration is a deliberate choice to live our baptismal promises by entrusting our families to the Holy Family. In this way, we strive to follow Jesus Christ more fully with the help and protection of Mary and St. Joseph.
The Seven Keys for God-Centered Family Living guide us on this journey to eternal happiness with God in Heaven: prayer life, sacramental life, learning the Faith, living the virtues, serving others, sharing the Faith, sanctifying daily duties.
This spirituality of Family Consecration is one of the best ways we know of for families to grow in holiness and become fully alive in Christ. We invite you to join us in this beautiful way of life!
Our TeamUnited in Prayer, Service, and Mission
Board of Directors
Theresa SchmitzDirector, President, & CEO
Theresa and her husband, Ken, are AFC Disciple Life Members and parents of six children on earth and one in heaven.
Theresa has extensive management experience and played a key role in guiding the AFC through its transition from the founders to the next administration. As the eleventh child of Jerry and Gwen Coniker, Theresa has been involved in the AFC’s ministry since the very beginning. She has a thorough knowledge of the organization’s history and the founders’ vision.
As AFC President, Theresa is committed to completing the business plan, further clarifying and simplifying AFC Membership, increasing financial support, and continuing to seek God’s will for this ministry.
Carolyn StegmannDirector & Assistant Treasurer
Rory FreiermuthDirector, Policy Officer & Assistant Secretary
Former Board of Directors
Thank you for your service!
Alan ZimmererFormer AFC President & Director
Theresa LawsonFormer Director
Dr. Nicholas PhillipsFormer Director
Greg BeckerFormer Director
Theresa SchmitzDirector, AFC President & CEO
Alan ZimmererExecutive Vice President
Basil DannebohmVice President of Advancement and Evangelization
The Honorable J. Basil Dannebohm is a former state legislator, writer, speaker, and consultant. He is the visionary that established a devotion to Our Lady Healer of Hearts and Vice Postulator of the Cause for Canonization of the Servant of God, Gwen Coniker.
Ken SchmitzVice President of Capital Improvement
Ken and his wife, Theresa, are AFC Disciple Life Members. Ken has served in many capacities at the AFC for nearly 20 years and now serves as Vice President of Capital Improvements.
Leonard O'NanTreasurer & Financial Control Officer
Carolyn StegmannAssistant Treasurer
Rory FreiermuthPolicy Officer & Assistant Secretary
Tim BoudreauxManaging Director of Art and Environment
Fr. Klem HasencoxSacramental Administrator
Jack HeemskerkManaging Director of Evangelization
Dan LappertManaging Director of Web & Media
Peter MergenManaging Director of Events
Jesus MoralesManaging Director of Facilities Management
Stasia PhillipsDirector of Communications
Zennel SyManaging Director of Sales & Marketing
Stephen YoungDirector of Hospitality
Sonya ArellanoHousekeeping & Disciple Member
Jim BarnesFacilities Management
Greg BeckerCatholic Corps
Sr. Mary BenedictaAdministrative Assistant
Dorita BillingsleyHousekeeping & Kitchen
Bob BrayerFacilities Management
Jomel BrondialDevelopment & Catholic Corps
Greg CaspersFacilities Management & Catholic Corps
Tim CroesDevelopment & Catholic Corps
Jessica EbertsDigital & Visual Arts
Fr. Bernard GeigerChaplain
Anthony GiammarinoAccounting & Catholic Corps
Roch GillmoreInformation Technologies, Communications & Catholic Corps
Chris HaefnerYear Round Alumni Corps
Tricia HauberAccounting & Catholic Corps
Neil HawkinsFacilities Management
Roger KeiserInformation Technologies
Julia KloessYear Round Alumni Corps
Fanny LeFeverReception & Disciple Member
Skip LeFeverSales & Marketing & Disciple Member
Lucy Lu MaiGroundskeeping & Catholic Corps
Therese PooleMama C's
Mary Ellen RedingtonEvents & Disciple Member
Deacon Randy RedingtonEvents & Disciple Member
Renee ScheuGroundskeeping & Catholic Corps
Kyle StutzmanMedia, Digital & Visual Arts
Mary SueGroundskeeping & Catholic Corps
Anna ThompsonCatholic Corps
Bob TurkFacilities Management
Catherine WallAccounting & Catholic Corps
Elsie YatorMembership & Catholic Corps
Barney YostenFranciscan University Program Liason
A Visionof Hope for the Future
“Families are meant to contribute to the transformation of the earth and the renewal of the world, of creation, and of all humanity,” wrote Pope St. John Paul II in his Letter to Families (Gratissimam Sane).
When you understand your parental role in passing on the Faith, desire to take on that responsibility, and—with support—know how to do it, your family's Catholic faith will transform your family. You will begin to experience all the good fruits God desires for your family—freedom, joy, unity, and peace. And as more and more families seek to live holy lives, by cooperating with the Holy Spirit, together we can help to renew the world and bring about the reign of Jesus on earth, through Mary and in union with St. Joseph.
Thousands of lives have already been changed by this mission. And we are filled with hope each time we hear that another family has been impacted. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for the future!
Won’t you join us?