Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Theologian To Lead MLK Day At Ignatius House

Published December 20, 2012

Theologian and spiritual director Diana Hayes, Ph.D., will lead a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Reflection at Ignatius House Retreat Center in Atlanta on Jan. 21, 2013. The theme of the day will be “Gift of God, Gift to the World: Giving of Ourselves.”

The day of reflection will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. It will include a presentation by Hayes, along with time for quiet, reflection and prayer. Mass will be celebrated, and a light breakfast and lunch are included.

The recommended donation for the day is $35. Space is limited so those interested in attending should register quickly to reserve a space. Hayes, who was the first African-American woman to earn a pontifical doctorate, received the U.S. Catholic Award for furthering the cause of women in the church. She will share her own personal story to illustrate how a person can be called out of the ordinariness of his or her life to a life not just “in” the world, but “for” the world.

“On this special day where we honor such a great spiritual leader as Martin Luther King Jr., having Dr. Hayes lead a day of reflection to reflect on his life and relationship with God is such a blessing,” said Maria Cressler, executive director of Ignatius House. “As a black Catholic theologian she brings with her not only her theological background and expertise in the field of Catholic theology and spirituality, but her own life experiences that illustrate the importance of giving of ourselves.”

Hayes, currently emerita professor of systematic theology at Georgetown University, holds a juris doctor degree from George Washington National Law Center, STB and STL degrees from the Catholic University of America, and a Ph.D. in religious studies from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. She has lectured throughout the United States, Europe and in South Africa on issues of race, class, gender and religion, womanist and black theologies.

Hayes is also the author or editor of a number of books, including: “Trouble Don’t Last Always: Soul Prayers,”  “And Still We Rise: An Introduction to Black Liberation Theology,” “Hagar’s Daughters: Womanist Ways of Being in the World,” “Taking Down Our Harps: Black Catholics in the United States” (co-edited with Cyprian Davis), and her most recent book “Standing in the Shoes My Mother Made: A Womanist Theology.”

To register for the MLK Day of Reflection, or for more information about Ignatius House, call (404) 255-0503 or visit