At last month’s 50th anniversary convention, we were thrilled to be able to award a handful of volunteers and influencers for their exceptional work supporting NFP couples and promoting the good news of God’s plan for family and married life.
First, the Konald A. Prem Award bears the name of the doctor who helped CCL co-founders John and Sheila Kippley create the Sympto-Thermal Method that CCL would teach, as well as the Prem rule to date pregnancies. CCL Executive Director Chris Reynolds had the pleasure of presenting this distinction to three certified Teaching Couples who, as volunteers, have done or continue to do exceptional work advancing marital chastity and NFP. They are:
- Jared & Monica Kimutis from Knoxville, Tennessee.
- Profile: Certified in 2012, the Kimutises have been teaching for six years. They have taught or mentored 53 couples in that time.
- While the Kimutises are being acknowledged in part for their stellar teaching record, they further deserve recognition for their community-building efforts. After feeling isolated as a young couple practicing NFP, they put their efforts into connecting with other young married NFP couples through a variety of means. Monica, in fact, became so convinced of the importance of community surrounding NFP that she self-published a book called Cultivating Your Catholic Community. The young couple was so successful that CCL hired Monica part-time to help us better connect with our own volunteers, and she is now in charge of piloting a regional approach in Tennessee and surrounding areas to build up our chapters and local NFP efforts.
- Pablo & Veronique Gaeta from Van Nuys, California.
- Profile: The Gaetas have been teaching for 16 years after their certification in 2002. They minister to families in Southern California and have taught 167 couples.
- The Gaetas are tremendously selfless in the way they sacrifice on behalf of their NFP work. Both individuals in this powerhouse couple are extremely personable, and their gifts of generosity and care for others give them a zeal for spreading this valuable message. They have done everything we’ve ever asked of them, including going above and beyond in recruiting clergy to promote NFP classes and securing a meeting between us and their bishop. Their active leadership in their chapter and consistent passion led us to invite Veronique onto the CCL Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have her, and even more pleased to be able to acknowledge the Gaetas’ invaluable efforts with this small award.
- Dan & Barbara Jaloway from Littleton, Colorado.
- Profile: The Jaloways were certified as a Teaching Couple in 1988 and they just retired after a full 30 years of instructing and accompanying couples. They couldn’t give up the ministry completely, and still assist as Promoters.
- For most of their many years of teaching, Dan and Barbara lived in Texas, but a move to Colorado barely caused a hiccup in their teaching. In their new community, they pressed right on making connections and instructing new students. The Jaloways have taught a grand total of 924 couples, making them among the busiest Teaching Couples in CCL History. Of those students, 517 were in live online classes, which is a testament to the way this incredible couple embraced new technology despite years and years utilizing the traditional onsite format.
All three of these hardworking couples exemplify the passion and generosity that CCL needs to successfully impact marriages, and we pray that God blesses them and their families for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of the marriages of others.
The St. Paul Evangelization Award — given for exceptional work in both promoting CCL and NFP — was presented to retired CCL teacher John DuMont. While John and his wife Mary have sacrificed for CCL in a great variety of ways, this particular distinction is being extended to John for the gift of his artistic talent. He has provided CCL with originals and prints of his beautiful watercolor renderings of the likes of Pope Benedict, Pope Francis, Mother Teresa and Pope Paul VI — all to be used in our fundraising efforts. His incredible talent is matched by his generous heart, and we are ever so grateful for the joyful blessing John has been to our ministry.
Two remarkable individuals were awarded the Edward Keefe Award, given for the scientific advancement of NFP in the medical community, and named after the physician responsible for inventing the easier-to-read glass basal thermometer and finding a correlation between cervical position and fertility. These remarkable honorees include:
- Michael Manhart
- Profile: Mike has gone from working for CCL as a volunteer Teaching Couple alongside his wife, Karen, to a member of the CCL Board of Directors, to the Executive Director of CCL, and finally to CCL’s Scientific Advisor. Together with his wife, the Manharts have taught more than 1,500 couples — possibly the most in CCL’s history.
- This award is specifically intended to honor Mike’s many scientific contributions to NFP and CCL. He has recently co-authored several studies published in scientific-reviewed journals, exploring important topics such as NFP and its effect on relational and sexual satisfaction as well as an article documenting the positive effects of an NFP requirement in the Diocese of Covington. Mike further co-authored a review study of the effectiveness of NFP with FACTS founder Dr. Marguerite Duane, which illustrated that every major method of NFP has at least one top-level study demonstrating high effectiveness. Beyond his academic work, Mike has contributed greatly to the perception of CCL among the medical community. Thanks to his professional credentials and demeanor, CCL has relationships and inroads in places that didn’t exist before. He has helped bring together science and ministry, and we are forever indebted to him.
- Dr. Marguerite Duane
- Profile: Though a cradle Catholic, Marguerite didn’t even discover fertility awareness-based methods of family planning (FABM) until her second year of residency after becoming frustrated with writing prescriptions for the pill. She passionately researched, practiced, and ultimately advocated for FABM, founding FACTS (Fertility Appreciation and Collaborative to Teach the Science) in the process.
- We believe that not only does Marguerite deserve this recognition for her work with FACTS, but also her personal ambition and investment in sharing God’s plan for marriage to a largely secular audience. She realized that many in the medical community are unaware of the science behind FABM and therefore aren’t terribly supportive in their use among patients, so she founded FACTS to fill that gap through the publication of trustworthy research, improved perception of natural methods in the medical field, and an overall change in the medical culture towards fertility. She focuses in a special way on reaching out to medical students, speaking to professional audiences as well as lay people, and increasing media awareness of FABM. She also maintains a direct-to-patient primary care practice where house calls are a normal office visit, allowing more a more personal and even ethical approach to the medical profession. Marguerite continues to be a significant voice in the NFP and FABM communities and we are grateful for it.
Finally, the Rev. Richard Hogan Award was presented to three individuals for excelling in promoting NFP in the fields of theology, psychology or related social science. A member of the CCL Board of Directors until his death in 2011, Fr. Hogan is perhaps best known for interpreting St. Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and co-authoring Covenant of Love with now-Bishop John Levoir. Recipients are:
- Janet E. Smith, Ph. D.
- Smith is the author of several books and many, many articles — far too many to name here. Her latest book is Self-Gift, a compilation of her essays on Humanae Vitae and the thought of St. John Paul II. She recently edited the book Living the Truth in Love: Pastoral approaches to Same Sex Issues with Fr. Paul Check of Courage, and appeared in Don Johnson’s new documentary Unprotected, which traces the sexual revolution back to its core. She founded the Women’s Care Center in South Bend during her time working at Notre Dame University, which has since grown into a network of over 20 pro-life pregnancy centers. Perhaps best-known of all, Dr. Smith has distributed more than two million copies of her talk, “Contraception: Why Not?” She has been a huge supporter of the work of CCL and continues to share the beauty of NFP and God’s plan for the family in her many initiatives.
- Christopher West
- While Christopher is, as he wants to be known, a proud husband and father of five, he has earned this award less for his family life and far more for his work bolstering the lives and marriages of others. He is best known for his global ministry teaching Theology of the Body (TOB) via a variety of media, and he’s concentrating those efforts in the Cor Project, his initiative to spread TOB and empower others using electronic media. He’s the author of a great many books, including best-sellers like Theology of the Body for Beginners, Good News about Sex & Marriage, and At the Heart of the Gospel. Once a CCL student himself, Christopher has gone on to share the beauty of NFP with those to whom he teaches and to help his students better understand the divine mystery embedded in the human body.
- Damon Owens
- Another TOB giant, Damon has been an international speaker for over 20 years and recently founded joyTOB. Alongside his wife, Melanie, the Owenses have trained over 20,000 couples in marriage, NFP and TOB. He’s been the founder of a number of other organizations over the years, including Joy-Filled Marriage New Jersey, and New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association, both of which work to build a healthy culture of marriage in the Northeast. Since serving as the first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute, and later as chairman of the 2016 International TOB Congress, Damon has even further stepped up his commitment to share beauty of God’s plan for marriage.
We at CCL are honored to be the beneficiaries of all the hard work and dedication of these passionate individuals, and we are humbled to be able to provide even these simple awards for all of their invaluable efforts.
— CCL Staff Member