by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Jacki Corrigan has been involved in many kinds of family life ministry, but don’t ask her which one has been her favorite.
“It’s very difficult to choose,” she said. “They’ve all been part of a beautiful journey.”
The journey Corrigan has taken in family life ministry led to a special honor given to her by the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers during a banquet on June 25 at the University of St. Thomas at St. Paul, Minn.
The NACFLM is a professional association of diocesan and parish family life ministers and others who are involved in a variety of ministries. It offers support and professional enrichment, is an advocate for families and family ministry, and promotes the development of family life ministry in all levels of the church.
Corrigan, who has served as archdiocesan consultant for marriage and family life ministry for 12 years, was nominated and selected by the board of the NACFLM to receive its 2009 award.
The award honors a member of the association who, “by thought and action, demonstrates a consistent concern and service on behalf of families and family ministry,” according to the award citation, and who makes “a significant and lasting contribution known beyond the local parish or diocese . . . above and beyond ordinary responsibilities.”
Corrigan was grateful for this recognition from her colleagues.
“It feels very humbling [to receive this award], because there are a lot of people who have supported me and more or less taught me what I needed to know to work in this ministry,” said Corrigan. “I stand on great shoulders.”
Corrigan has served as Region IX (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa) representative to the NACFLM and has served on the association’s board for six years. She has also assisted with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops marriage initiative planning group.
Jacki and her husband, Dick, members of the Church of the Nativity in Leawood, have served as directors of Marriage Encounter for Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.
Since becoming the archdiocesan consultant for marriage and family life, Corrigan has initiated new programs to assist in marriage preparation and marriage enrichment. This includes Project Genesis, a small group marriage preparation program; the annual marriage retreat; and the golden wedding anniversary celebration held at St. Peter Cathedral each year.
Corrigan has served on the local task force to develop the My House program, as well as an annual retreat for women. She has been extensively involved in education programs for ensuring safe environments for children.
Corrigan thanked all those who have helped her in ministry over the years, including Msgr. Thomas Tank, former director of the archdiocesan department of parish ministries, and her husband Dick.
“[Dick] has always been supportive and always been a great father and husband,” said Corrigan. “He has helped make the whole picture of family life come alive in our lives.”