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Gloria Purvis named inaugural fellow at Notre Dame pro-life office

Good deeds are going unpunished in South Bend—rewarded in fact, as Gloria Purvis is appointed to a pro-life fellowship aimed at centering racial justice in the Church.

Gloria Purvis, the outspoken pro-life and anti-racism advocate, has been named the inaugural Pastoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Office of Life and Human Dignity (NDOLHD), the school has announced.

The news came on October 13th, in a press release from the university’s McGrath Institute for Church Life, which houses the office.

“The impetus for our collaboration with Gloria came about through all of the events of the past 18 months,” said NDOLHD program director Jessica Keating.

“We seek to really think about how the Church can address issues of systemic racism and train pastoral ministers to respond and learn techniques needed to thoughtfully engage in these difficult conversations and to enact community change.”

Keating also made reference in the press release to the murder of George Floyd, which marked a notable epoch for Purvis—whose anti-racist advocacy in its wake ultimately resulted in her EWTN Radio show being canceled in December 2020.

That news came just two weeks after she was named a “Catholic of the Year” by Our Sunday Visitor.

“I will never, ever, ever have regrets for shining the light of the Gospel on a situation that was surrounded by darkness,” Purvis told Catholic News Service the day after her firing.

She has participated in a number of anti-racism events with Notre Dame since Floyd’s murder, including a panel discussion and featured interview in July 2020, and a webinar in February 2021.

This past June, she called systemic racism “a structure of sin”, in an interview with Alessandra Harris for BCM.

Purvis will address exactly these issues in her new partnership with Notre Dame, which will run through July 2022 and help “enact a truly Catholic response to the sin of racism” by developing curriculum resources, hosting campus events, and “facilitating a workshop series for pastoral leaders”.

A Cornell grad and full-time stay-at-home mom, she currently hosts the “Gloria Purvis Podcast” for America Media and is a religious freedom consultant with the USCCB.

She recently wrapped a series of speaking events wherein she addressed racism, the Eucharist, abortion, and Whole Life ethics at various venues in Kansas and Rhode Island.

She is scheduled to appear virtually at the Washington State bishops’ Cornerstone Catholic Conference on October 30th.

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, a seminarian with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).

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