Kristina Ortega: Inclusion and Catholic Education

Episode 63 of Messy Jesus Business podcast, with Sister Julia Walsh.

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“Prayer has to push you to do something outside yourself.” -Kristina Ortega


For the latest episode of Messy Jesus Business podcast, Sister Julia is in conversation with Catholic educator and inclusivity advocate Kristina Ortega. Their conversation explores prayer and spirituality, advocacy, being women in the Catholic Church, and the value and neccessity of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs in Catholic education. Kristina also talks about how her own Mexican heritage is essential to her own experience of being Catholic.

Kristina admits that being a woman in the church is experience of joy but also can be frustrating. She sees this in the girls’ Catholic schools where there is a “stained-glass ceiling.” To counter this she teaches a theology that allows her students to say “I see myself.”

When talking about doing DEI work at a Catholic School, Kristina makes connections to incarnational theology. As she says, to protect the image of God and honor the dignity of the human person, all people need to be honored for who they are and according to their culture, socio-economic status and gender identity. The church can do strenthen this part of its mission, Kristina says, by allowing more lay leadership.


Kristina Ortega was born and raised in Los Angeles and is the product of 18 years of Catholic school. She has a BA and an MA in Theological Studies from Loyola Marymount University and has taught in Catholic high schools since 2001. She is a Minister of Liturgical Movement in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and serves on two of the planning committees for the LA Religious Education Congress. Kristina is currently the Coordinator of Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA. She has contributed a chapter to a book forthcoming in Summer 2023, “Creating Spaces for Women in the Catholic Church.” Outside of ministry, Kristina is a docent at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a Mexican-American art, culture, and history museum in LA. She and her family are members of Dolores Mission Parish in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California.

MESSY JESUS BUSINESS is hosted by Sister Julia Walsh. 

Produced and edited by Colin Wambsgans.

Email us at messyjesusbusiness@gmail.com



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