Assistant and Counselor @ Catholic Pro-Life Committee
Joanne grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, in a very pro-life family of seven children. In 2000, she was privileged to mentor mothers in need as a Gabriel Angel for the Project Gabriel Ministry of the Catholic Pro-Life Community (CPLC). Later, God led her to the CPLC Convert-to-Life / Sidewalk Counseling Ministry, and this has become her calling and life’s work.
Joanne has been sidewalk counseling for the CPLC for fifteen years and, for the past nine years, served as the Director of the Convert-to-Life / Sidewalk Counseling Ministry, featured in the short documentary, Last Line of Defense, and the LifeSiteNews article, Saved by God’s Grace. The ministry provides trained sidewalk counselors, supported by prayer partners, to ensure a near daily presence outside Dallas abortion facilities, offering life-affirming alternatives and referrals for healing. Joanne is joined on the sidewalk by her daughter, Rachael Rodriguez, who has been counseling abortion-minded parents for thirteen years, and now serves as the Covert-to-Life Ministry Assistant. Since its beginning in 1997, the Convert-to-Life Ministry has helped more than 9,500 mothers choose life for their babies through a prayerful, loving approach.
In 2009, Joanne and Rachael began assisting with the 40 Days for Life prayer vigils in Dallas, recognized as the largest in the world in 2011. In recognition for her leadership of the 40 Days for Life-Dallas campaign, Joanne, along with three other members of the leadership team, received The Bishop’s Pro-Life Award for Prayer in 2011. Joanne and Rachael have recently reached out to a new “front line,” exhibiting monthly at local community colleges with a partnering pregnancy resource center. Joanne has also served on a state board concerning the growing risk of human trafficking in Texas. She has mentored and trained sidewalk counselors throughout Texas and in other states, has been interviewed by multiple media outlets, and was featured as the keynote speaker for the Oklahoma 40 Days for Life in 2014.
Joanne is married and blessed with four children, as is her daughter Rachael, who is also married with four children.