By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
They’ve played a significant role in Geralyn Kaminsky’s life — a life that has become dedicated to not only advocating for pro-life issues, but putting her faith into action to help people across two continents.
And now, another gentle nudge has Kaminsky ready to lead one of the most active pro-life organization’s in the nation.
“It was the Holy Spirit,” said Kaminsky, who in March was named the new executive director of the Catholic Pro-Life Community in the Diocese of Dallas. “I had learned long ago that when the Holy Spirit nudges, act and do it now.”
Kaminsky’s new role is just the latest in a lifetime of pro-life service.
“I’ve always been pro-life,” Kaminsky said, noting that family prayers to St. Gerard prior to her birth led to her being named Geralyn and that the pro-life ministry was always prevalent in her family growing up. “Life was always a topic around our table.”
While attending Catholic high school, she volunteered at a school for the disabled and, in particular, recalled helping a 21-year-old student of the school say the alphabet all the way through for the first time.
“We were all rejoicing and I realized then, that while we may all be different, we are all the same in the eyes of God,” she said.
Making a difference
In the year 2000, Kaminsky had just wrapped up a job as a Y2K manager for a global company. She was looking for a break, time to recoup and re-energize. God had other plans for her, though.
“Very providentially and through a nudge from the Holy Spirit, I was asked to go on a mission trip to the Honduras. They said you should go because you speak Spanish,” she recalled. “At that time, I realized that God was calling me to do something a little different.”
Answering that call, Kaminsky in 2004 founded the Friends of Los Niños, a charity seeking to assist the development of children living in Honduras, through education, housing, spiritual guidance, medical treatment and nutritional fulfillment.
“For me personally, I knew that I had to stay involved with the children of Honduras, and my husband and I did. A few years later, an issue arose, and we decided that we needed to make a bigger commitment there to help children stay out of government-run orphanages,” she said. “So, we started Friends of Los Niños, and we dedicated our lives to helping the children of Honduras.”
Nearly two decades later, the charity thrives as a volunteer run organization. Kaminsky remains involved, noting that it will “always be a part of me,” but admitted she felt now was the time to turn her focus closer to home and the Catholic Pro-Life Community.
“We’ve always been a part of the Catholic Pro-Life Community as well, volunteering, participating in the Roe marches, standing outside of abortion clinics and praying,” she said. “Now, I just wanted to really focus on this issue of life in our culture. Now is the time, and I felt called to do something about it.”
Answering the call
Kaminsky stepped into her new role at CPLC shortly before the annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner and immediately knew she had made the right decision.
“This group of people may be the hardest working group of people I’ve ever met and all with the passion for pro-life,” she said. “It isn’t separate. It’s not a business and then people have their faith life. It is so beautifully intertwined that it’s just incredible. It’s such a great feeling to be with the CPLC.”
As executive director, Kaminsky looks to lead CPLC back to its roots, hoping to engage parishes in their mission.
“It’s particularly important now because of COVID-19. Some churches have very small capacities right now. Some people, even if the capacity is there, aren’t ready to get back. There is now an even greater need for us to have programs woven throughout our parishes,” she said. “In other words, it’s time to awaken the 1.2 million Catholics that are in the Dallas diocese.”
Kaminsky noted that the pro-life movement in the Diocese of Dallas started in parishes, and it is there it really became a force. From there, it grew and the Catholic Pro-Life Committee was formed, eventually becoming the Catholic Pro-Life Community.
“This organization began mobilizing people in groups, going to the March for Life, raising money, having the Bishop’s Annual Pro-Life Dinner, and all the other work it has become known for,” said Kaminsky, who added that now the goal is to get back to the grassroots. “It’s time to find a balance.”
Kaminsky said, with the growing presence of a counter-culture to life in society, it’s not a time for Catholics to be idle or to sit back.
“The counter-culture of life is bold and their voices are very loud,” she said. “We’re trying to educate the faithful, and we have to counter those very loud voices from the other side.”
One way CPLC is doing that is through the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pastoral program, “Walking With Moms in Need,” which launched in March 2020 as a parish service project.
“It’s a great program, and it’s been reintroduced throughout the diocese,” Kaminsky said. “It starts with a resource guide so if a mother comes in with a need, a parish can help her find a pregnancy resource center in her area, help her find a food closet in her area, help her with diapers and formula, and things like that because she chose life. It’s really parish-based.”
CPLC is also creating programs for parishes that include a spiritual adoption so that a parishioner can pray for an unnamed mother who has chosen life.
Kaminsky said CPLC understands the diocese is home to parishes of different cultures and sizes.
“We will be tailoring programs for those parishes as well,” she said, adding that CPLC will continue to enlighten people to end-of-life issues, and euthanasia, capital punishment, and all the issues of life because pro-life encompasses all of it.
While much of the work of the pro-life ministry is aimed at prevention, Kaminsky said the faithful must also remember those impacted by abortions.
“You want to prevent abortion. You want to save lives. But you also want to be there for those suffering from the pain of an abortion experience,” said Kaminsky, noting the efforts of Rachel’s Vineyard and Project Joseph retreats. “We are all children of our Heavenly Father, and there is healing and mercy extended to everybody. There are women and men who continue to suffer from an abortion experience, some as long as 30 or 40 years. That healing is critical.”
And for those asking to help CPLC with its ministry, Kaminsky offers a simple way to do it.
“Prayer. Pray daily for life. Pray daily for an end to abortion,” she said. “Pray for the elderly. Pray for the imprisoned. Pray for the sick. Pray for life.”
CPLC offers more volunteer opportunities for Catholics wanting to get further involved.
“We have a fantastic education department here at the Catholic Pro-Life Community,” Kaminsky said. “If someone is willing, we know that God will work through them.”
Learn more about the Catholic Pro-Life Community, its ministries and programs at www.prolifedallas.org.