“It was in that silence, while we were in the crypt church of the cathedral during adoration with the monstrance exposed, that I had an experience that I could only call a mystical experience where I was— all of a sudden — just completely engulfed in flames. I knew I was on fire, but it didn’t hurt. And at the same time I had an immediate knowledge that what was there was real and alive. And it’s hard to put it into words. I still—and it’s all these years later—I still have that. As I think about it, I can still remember the sensation of being engulfed in flames.”
— Gloria Purvis
It’s the ultimate podcast crossover!
Jeannie Gaffigan and I were thrilled that the brilliant Gloria Purvis was able to join us on the latest episode of Field Hospital. We asked Gloria to share her grace-filled story with us, from her conversion to Catholicism at 12 years old and her experiences growing up in a religiously diverse Black family in South Carolina. She shares her experiences with racism, both from her time growing up in the South and as an advocate for racial justice in Catholic media. We talk about the surprises God had in store for her along the way—including her career shift from the corporate world to Catholic media and when she was called to be a pro-life activist and speaker.
Jeannie and I talked to Gloria about how some in the Church are not receptive to all of our teachings on human dignity, including the reluctance (and even refusal) of many Catholics to acknowledge racism in the Church and in wider society, as well as how her radio career was cut short due to audience complaints about her advocacy.
We also spoke about the beauty of the Church’s teaching on human dignity and the importance of loving and protecting all life—including black lives, the lives of the unborn, and even the lives of prisoners on death row. As always, we discussed ways we can heal the wounds that afflict the Church. And of course we had quite a few laughs along the way.
It was a huge blessing to speak with Gloria Purvis, and we’re extremely grateful that we are able to share this conversation with you.
You can find out more information about Purvis, listen to her talks, and read her writings, in these links.
- “We Need to Talk About Race: Lessons from ‘The Gloria Purvis Podcast’,” by Gloria Purvis
- “How race influences our Catholicism—whether we know it or not”
- “Fired EWTN host Gloria Purvis: ‘I will never, ever, ever have regrets’ for discussing race,” by Mark Pattinson
- “A conversation with Gloria Purvis on the racial justice and pro-life movements,” by Kevin Binrbaum.
This episode of Field Hospital is supported by Catholic Theological Union.