At 6:55 a.m. on a Friday morning, Gloria Purvis laughs as she completes last-minute preparations for her radio show “Morning Glory: It’s Catholic Coast to Coast,” on EWTN radio. His co-host, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, and Priestly Counselor Msgr. Charles Pope jokes adding to their own notes. As the clock ticks down to 7 a.m., a joyful melody begins to play and they begin the show with a prayer.
The next hour is filled with discussions on everything from national news to how to read the scriptures, pop culture and Catholic teaching. Purvis, a Catholic in the Archdiocese of Washington, with Deacon Burke-Sivers and Msgr. Pope, evangelizes through the airwaves every morning of the week.
“I haven’t been afraid to speak about what we believe and why,” Purvis said. “At the local level, more people need to know.”
Purvis first met Msgr. Pope – the longtime pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Parish in Washington, DC – while working for the pro-life cause in the local black Catholic community some 15 years ago. She then met Deacon Burke-Sivers after speaking at a National Black Catholic Conference in Indianapolis, and the two have connected and been friends ever since. She and Deacon Burke-Sivers — who lives in Portland, Oregon — hosted an EWTN TV show, “Authentically Free at Last,” where the two, along with Damon Owens, discussed living the gospel in society. today. As “Morning Glory” began in September 2015, Deacon Burke-Sivers joined Purvis in January, and Msgr. Pope joins them every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“I’m blessed to be able to do the show with these men I call friends,” she said.
Previously working in corporate America in mortgage finance risk, Purvis said she “left it to be a wife and a mother.”
From there a ministry began. When she and her husband began working with St. Augustine Parish in Washington, D.C., in both young adult ministry and social justice ministry, Purvis said her evangelistic opportunities “began to grow organically”.
“I was invited to speak…and I wasn’t afraid to do so,” she said.
Even touching on difficult topics such as premarital sex, marriage, homosexuality and the death penalty, Purvis said, “We owe it to them to share the truth and the beauty of what we believe.”
“We have to have these conversations because most people don’t learn their catechism,” she said. “And people have to be willing to do that, to have those conversations. I discovered that I am ready to do it.
Purvis regards these difficult conversations as a work of mercy, to warn the sinner.
“Don’t do it in a way that brings shame, but rather with love and honesty,” she said. “And that really starts with a relationship with the person.”
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Purvis grew up in a Catholic school where, at age 12, she had a life-changing ‘mystical experience’, she called, during the interview. eucharistic adoration. From there, she told her parents that she would convert to Catholicism and she made an effort to live her faith.
Later, as an adult in the Archdiocese of Washington, Purvis worked with the Office of Black Catholics and in pro-life outreach to the African-American community and also served on the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, as well than raising awareness among young adults. She and her husband helped guide engaged couples through pre-Cana classes.
Audiences listening to “Morning Glory” come from all over the world, including India, the Philippines, Australia, and Slovakia, to name a few. The show allows people to listen on local stations, as well as through a podcast and online.
Purvis said she loves the radio platform.
“I think I’m just a woman who doesn’t run,” she said. “This platform just gives me a natural conversation with these guys. It’s real-time interaction.
Hearing the personal stories of others allowed her to see God’s goodness, “so much,” she said.
“It was fun to hear from so many listeners, who inspire the things we talk about,” Purvis said. “I am grateful because it allows me to serve the Lord as he sees fit.”