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Witnesses
Kayla August
April 21, 2021

For me, the women’s diaconate is about women finding their voice.

As a black Catholic woman with a call to preach, I have never felt a more urgent need for voices like mine in our Church and in our country to be able to be heard, and to have the voice of women during the time we come together as a community weekly to praise, worship and hear God moving in all of our lives. We see what happens when these voices aren’t heard.

Through the Church’s current discernment about receiving women as deacons, I carry hope. I carry hope like Phoebe carried that letter to the Church in Rome (Romans 16:1-2). It’s a hope that my brothers in Christ continue to wrestle until they are transformed. I hope they are less afraid of exploring the question of women’s vocations — and more afraid of what will be lost if women’s voices are erased.

I hope that people with power to open the door will move into a vision not yet seen. And I hope that we move into this vision as a Church, making space to ensure that the God who equally loves all of us can be heard equally through each and every one of us, at the pulpit and around the world.

Kayla August is from New Orleans, Louisiana, a Catholic city filled with priests, po-boys, and parades! A love of God brought this southern girl to the Midwest where she spent her first three years in South Bend as the Assistant Director of Evangelization in Notre Dame’s Campus Ministry department. Kayla currently serves the Notre Dame community as rector of Lyons Hall.

Kayla has a B.A. and a Masters in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University of New Orleans. She has spent a large part of the past 12 years volunteering her summers at Camp Challenge, a camp for children with cancer and sickle cell, and Camp Pelican, a camp for children with asthma and cystic fibrosis as the director of activities. Her love of service continues as a mentor to youth at Transformation Ministries in South Bend, Indiana.

Kayla plans to pursue a doctorate in preaching as a way to serve God by giving her voice to the Church.

Endorser
“It is time for our Church to acknowledge the role of countless women serving the people of God in positions of ministry and leadership.”
Endorser
“It is time for the Church to heed the Spirit’s voice, recognizing women’s call to the diaconate and allow the Spirit to restore and renew the Body of Christ so that it may fully live into its identity of missionary discipleship.”
M. Therese Lysaught, Ph.D., Theologian
Theologian, Doctor of Philosophy - Loyola University Chicago and the Pontifical Academy for Life (Chicago, IL/Madison, WI)
Witness
“I feel that the Catholic Church as it is structured is not what Jesus envisioned for his followers—so many of them were women of his day. What happened?”
Joan D. Martin
Ignatian Volunteer Corps Member, parishioner at New Roads Catholic Community in Belmont, MA

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