Church Steeples Stand Out in the Baltimore Skyline

Baltimore, Maryland


Baltimore is a city of great religious complexity—from its roots as one of oldest Catholic communities in the United States, to its role as a key stop on the Underground Railroad, to its recent history as a center of the Black Lives Matter Movement, which has been seen as a departure from a long history of black social activism in that it emerged without deep roots in the city’s churches. In 2016 the American Pilgrimage Project went to Baltimore and recorded two days of conversations at St. Matthew Catholic Church and St. Francis of Assisi Church there. Many thanks to our hosts and to all who took part in the conversations.

The interviews below were recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. 

Painting the Statues Black: Ralph and Dana Moore

April 30, 2016

More stories about: Race Catholicism

When he attended Loyola High School in 1952, Ralph Moore noticed that all of the images in his church were white. Late one night, he snuck into the church and painted the statues of Jesus and Mary black, a "parting shot" on his way out of Catholicism. In this conversation, Ralph discusses his experience grappling with racism in the Catholic Church with his wife, Dana.

This story was produced by StoryCorps.

The Long Walk from Childhood: Harold and Veronica Morales

April 28, 2016

More stories about: Latinx

Harold and Veronica both grew up in Los Angeles in deeply Catholic families. Although their families' faiths connected them to their Latinx heritage, both were exposed to frequent depictions of hell and demons that they say they don't want to pass onto their children. In this conversation, the couple discusses their spiritual development.

This story was produced by StoryCorps.

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