Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder and CEO of Homeboy Industries, will give a public lecture entitled “The Power of Boundless Compassion” at 7 p.m., Oct. 10 at Newman University in the Performance Hall.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies, and is part of the 2013-2014 focus on the theme of Race and Reconciliation.
Homeboy Industries is a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights in the neighborhood of Los Angeles. The program was born in 1988 and is now the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the United States.
“In Homeboy Industries, Father Boyle has successfully translated a personal spiritual commitment to the poor and marginalized into a large-scale, difference-making machine, and done so under some of the most difficult conditions imaginable,” said Jamey Findling, associate professor of philosophy at Newman and director of the Gerber Institute.
In his bestselling book “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion,” Father Boyle describes his experience working in the ghetto where he used his faith to guide others.
Father Boyle was born in Los Angeles in 1954. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a priest in 1984. Boyle dedicated his life to helping others who chose the poor, as he was chaplain in the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom State Prison.
He was also appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1986 where he served through 1992. Boyle also served on the State Commission for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, The National Youth Gang Center Board and the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Task Force.
“We are especially pleased that Father Gregory Boyle, S.J. will be meeting with our freshmen students as part of our freshman common reading program,” said Rosemary Niedens, associate vice president for Academic Services and Student Development. “Father Boyle is an inspiration to each of us. He shows us that we too can make a difference in our corner of the world.”
“We are tremendously excited about the chance to learn from his energy, enthusiasm, and example,” Findling said.
Fr. Boyle’s book will be available for purchase after the talk as well as a possibility to have it signed by the author.