Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, Blessed and Endorsed Work of the Apostolate for Family Consecration

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Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, also praised the Family Catechism book, published by the Apostolate for Family Consecration. It is now available as a multi-media curriculum, with Cardinal Francis Arinze on DVD and CD as well as teachersÂ? guides and workbooks for Catholic School families.

year old international Apostolate for Family Consecration applauded the election yesterday of a friend and supporter, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, as the Roman Catholic Church’s new pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI.

The Apostolate for Family Consecration’s Founder Jerry Coniker has had several blessed opportunities to meet with Cardinal Ratzinger, the last meeting of which was November of 2004. Cardinal Ratzinger had previously written to Coniker, endorsing his work, the work of the Apostolate for Family Consecration and its publication of the Family Catechism. Cardinal Ratzinger had also given permission for Jerry Coniker to interview in 2001Sister Lucia, at that time the last living seer of Fatima.

“The Roman Catholic Church and the entire world have been blessed with the gift of Pope John Paul II,” Coniker said. “We are now blessed to have Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger -- who so faithfully has served Pope John Paul II as a Roman Curia Cardinal for many years -- as our new Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI.”

Coniker said Cardinal Ratzinger endorsed the work of the Apostolate for Family Consecration, in particular its Family Catechism.

“The work's publication in this year of the family could not be more timely. It anticipates many of the themes of His Holiness Pope John Paul's Letter to Families,” Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in 1994. “The cross-references provided to the Catechism of the Catholic Church will make it an especially helpful instrument to parents and teachers.”

The Family Apostolate adopted the spirituality of Pope John Paul II in 1986 and dedicated an Apostolate within the Church, among others, to carry out his teachings and legacy. This has primarily been done by Coniker and his late wife, Gwen, Founders of the Family Apostolate and its 24-hour Familyland Television Network. The Conikers had 14 encounters with the late Pope and dedicated their lives to spreading his teachings.

The couple traveled the world over seeking to capture the spirit of John Paul II by capturing on video his teachings and many intriguing stories about his inner, personal life. “The Family Apostolate has made a commitment to carry out John Paul II’s Eucharistic- Marian- and Family-centered spirituality to the four corners of the world,” Coniker said.

The Family Apostolate has now produced a multi-media curriculum around its Family Catechism book, featuring Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The package of curriculum materials includes DVDs featuring Cardinal Arinze teaching the Family Catechism, CDs and printed instructional material geared for all family members, including those in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Working with Cardinal Arinze since 1986, the Apostolate for Family Consecration has produced over 1,700 television-teaching shows on subjects ranging from family catechetics to Vatican II, Scripture, and most of Pope John Paul II’s major apostolic letters and encyclicals. The most recent production features Cardinal Arinze commenting on Ratzinger’s and Arinze’s document entitled “Redemptionis Sacramentum” (on certain matters to be observed or avoided regarding the most Holy Eucharist).

Cardinal Arinze has visited Catholic Familyland annually since 1987 and “has been an inspiration to the Apostolate for over 19 years," Coniker said.

About the Apostolate for Family Consecration:

The Apostolate’s largest center (950 acres) is Catholic Familyland, located in Bloomingdale, Ohio. Other centers are in Manila for Asia and at an 18-building center in Mexico serving all of Latin America. A new center is starting in Nigeria (Onitsha Archdiocese) for Africa, and members also work in Belgium, Europe, Canada, Pakistan and Russia as well as throughout Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

For additional information on programs featuring Cardinal Arinze, a special production about Pope John Paul II, catechesis, or to subscribe to Familyland Television Network, which also features these encounters, call 1-800-77 FAMILY or visit


Theresa Schmitz

Phone: (740) 765-5500, ext. 4007

FAX: (740)-765-5561

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