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Faith and Coming of Age

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Childhood is often when we are first introduced to religion. Faith can be passed down from parents to children, especially when religious services and holidays serve as a central pillar of family life. But growing older leads many people to take a different path on their faith journey. Some question and even abandon their religious upbringing as they come of age. Others find solace in faith traditions not part of their family heritage. Our relationship to faith can change as we discover who we are and how we want to interact with the world. In this collection of conversations, people reflect on how their faith has changed as they have grown older.

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

Emma Coley and Matthew Igoe

February 28, 2020

More stories about: Catholicism Education

Emma Coley and Matthew Igoe both majored in religion at Princeton University, where they were active in Catholic life on campus. In this conversation, the friends discuss how they approach questions of theology, justice, and reform as the next generation of laypeople in the Church. 

This story was produced by David Dault at Sandburg Media, LLC.

Andrew Brown and Rebecca Ngu

February 28, 2020

More stories about: Christianity Immigration

Andrew Brown and Rebecca Ngu were active in church life and moved frequently during childhood because their fathers were Methodist and Pentecostal clergy, respectively. In this conversation, the friends discuss how being raised as the children of clergy has shaped how they approach their Christian faith as adults.

This story was produced by David Dault at Sandburg Media, LLC.

Afifah Latif and Hamzah Latif

May 10, 2017

More stories about: Islam Education

Afifah Latif moved from Qatar to Detroit, where she faced discrimination as a girl for her Muslim faith. In this conversation, Afifah discusses with her brother Hamzah the relationship between her experience of wearing a headscarf in the aftermath of 9/11 and her sense of self.

This story was produced by StoryCorps.

Yasmeen Khan and Sumayyah Ahmed

May 10, 2017

More stories about: Gender Islam

Yasmeen Khan and Sumayyah Ahmed are second-generation Americans of Indian descent who often grapple with cultural misperceptions, especially as Muslim women. In this conversation, the childhood friends discuss how they find community through faith, from connecting with other women who wear a hijab to participating in political protests against anti-Muslim policies. 

This story was produced by StoryCorps.

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.

Unintended Consequences: Robert and Christina Ellsberg

May 4, 2015

More stories about: Catholicism Social Justice

In 1969, Robert Ellsberg's father, Daniel Ellsberg, was arrested for publishing the Pentagon Papers. Seeing his father go to prison forced Robert to examine his own beliefs, a process that brought him to join the Catholic Worker Movement, where he met Dorothy Day and became Catholic himself. In this conversation, Robert discusses his development with his daughter, Christina.

This story was produced by StoryCorps.

Kenneth Honeycutt on the Explosions

June 5, 2013

More stories about: Healing & Recovery

On March 18, 1937, nearly 300 students and teachers died in an explosion caused by a gas leak at the Consolidated School of New London. Playing nearby at the time of the disaster was Kenneth Honeycutt, who came to believe that the explosion was a punishment from God. In this conversation, Honeycutt discusses the tragedy and its impact on him with his wife, Gaye. 

This story was produced by StoryCorps.

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