The Story of Father Pat

Father PatrickHe dedicated his life to helping our community’s most vulnerable.  Father Patrick Jackson House was so named to honor this man whose vision enabled the agency to become a reality less than a year following his untimely death in 1983 at age 46.

One of eight children, Patrick Jackson came to his faith early.  He grew up in St. Clair Shores and attended Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary and graduated in 1962 from St. John Seminary in Plymouth.  After his ordination, his first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Ann Arbor, a position he held until 1971. He served as pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Northfield from 1971-1980. In the three years following, Fr. Pat was the pastor of St. Michael’s in Grand Ledge.

Service to Fr. Pat went beyond his pastoral duties; he often was in the forefront fighting for the poor and powerless. In 1965, he traveled to Selma, Alabama to register African-American voters during the tumultuous civil rights struggle and helped organize the Detroit Emergency Food Project two years later to aid riot-stricken residents. Shortly after he came to Ann Arbor as a newly-ordained priest, Fr. Pat co-founded WITH Housing, a non-profit dedicated to providing residential facilities for those in need. Fr. Pat and the WITH Housing Board were in the process of establishing a residence in Ann Arbor exclusively for pregnant girls and their babies at the time of his death.

Father Patrick Jackson House opened its doors in 1984 and since that time has helped hundreds of young moms develop the skills to become devoted and capable parents. What fitting tribute to the remarkable individual whose own life personified compassion, faith and principle.