Woman to Know: Kim Daniels

Meet Kim Daniels, communications whiz, Vatican consultant, and mom of six

Kim Daniels is a woman with an easy smile, a brilliant intellect, and a fierce love for the Church. For many Catholics, Kim first crossed their horizons when she was chosen in 2013 by Cardinal Dolan to be spokesperson during his tenure as President of the USCCB. Kim’s work as spokesperson demonstrated not only her personal warmth and gifted ability to explain clearly the Church’s teachings and priorities, but also her deep expertise as an attorney and advocate for religious freedom.  Since leaving the USCCB position, Kim has emerged as a go-to communications expert for the Church, working for the consulting group GP Catholic. At the same time that she and her husband continue to prioritize family life as they raise six children.  In the summer of 2016, Kim was named a Member of the new Vatican Secretariat for Communications.  We caught up with Kim recently, and share some “things to know” about this wonderful Catholic woman.

CWF: Kim, you’re now a Principal in the Communications Practice Group of GP Catholic, a consulting firm in Washington, DC, that takes as its mission to help Church leaders respond to the opportunities and challenges of ministering in a very complex environment. When did you take this particular position and why?

KD: I joined GP Catholic in the spring of 2016. I was excited to be part of GP Catholic’s efforts to help Catholic leaders build an engaged Church that lives and shares the Gospel!

CWF: A short time later, in the summer of 2016, you were named a Member of the newly-formed Vatican Secretariat for Communications, which aims to restructure and reorganize all of the Vatican communications efforts, which has included the Vatican Press Office, Vatican Radio, L’Osservatore Romano, and other branches. What an honor to be named to assist in this effort!

KD: I was excited to be asked to serve the Church and Pope Francis in this role. Pope Francis is teaching us all how to best convey the Gospel in the world we live in today, and I’m honored to be a small part of those efforts.

CFW:  Reflecting on your conversations with Catholic women, and your own experiences, what’s the “good news” in the Church?

KD: Pope Francis is showing us how to best share the Gospel, living out our Catholic faith by remembering that mercy and care for the voiceless and vulnerable are at its heart. He’s renewing our Church with a pastoral approach that resists what he calls the  “throwaway culture” at every turn, whether by calling for protection for unborn children and their mothers, or solidarity with immigrants and refugees, or care for God’s creation, or renewal of marriage and family life.

Some view Pope Francis’ efforts through a tired left/right paradigm, or through a hostile lens that sows division. I disagree with these approaches. The mercy at the heart of our faith can only strengthen and enrich Catholic teachings. By emphasizing this, Pope Francis is helping reinvigorate our Church as it engages the particular challenges we face.

CWF: Kim, can you tell us a bit about your family?

KD:  My husband David and I have been married for over twenty-two years and have 6 great kids ranging in age from elementary school through college.

CWF: How do you integrate your work and family responsibilities, on the practical level?

KD: I’ve been fortunate to have been able to structure my career around our family life, taking breaks from professional work when that’s been right for our family, and almost always working part-time from home. Even with flexible scheduling and all the rest, I wouldn’t be able to make things work without a husband who’s right there with me and a close circle of family, friends, and neighbors who are there for each other in day-to-day life and in more challenging times. Our wonderful parish and Catholic schools have been central to that, filled with generous people who’ve taught me that we’re not meant to live our faith on our own; we’re meant to be Catholic together.

CWF: How do you nurture your relationship with the Lord? Do you have a favorite devotion or spiritual practices?

KD: For me, it’s the rosary. When we had our first baby I started saying the rosary during those middle-of-the-night feedings and it became a daily habit in a way that it hadn’t been before. Now it enriches the rest of my prayer life, and my day seems scattered if I miss it.

CWF: Tell us something about you that runs “under the radar” – what’s a “Fun Fact” most people don’t know about you?

KD: My husband and I are our neighborhood’s reigning cornhole champions, no doubt due to our exhausting training regimen and intense strategizing!  St. Jude came in handy too.

Editor’s Note: In our “Women to Know” series, we introduce you to Catholic women who inspire us with their leadership and their witness to a flourishing Catholic life. To propose a “Woman to Know,” please contact CWF web editor Sarah Shanoudy sshanoudy@eppc.org.