“A lot of times we think it’s about good people and bad people, when its in fact about folks who have hope and those who don’t. So how to we infuse hope to young people for whom hope is foreign?”
Fr Greg Boyle SJ was two years into his priestly ministry when he found himself in Dolores Mission, a parish in Boyle Heights LA situated between two housing projects. He had wanted to work with the poor, but was confronted with an issue of a different kind: eight rival gangs on the brink of what he now calls ‘the decade of death’.
Faced with the problem of gang violence, arrests and daily shootings, Fr Greg had to make a choice: “you can either bury your head in the sand, or you could roll up your sleeves and try to confront this issue”. Working side-by-side with his parishioners, mostly single mothers, he began a program that eventually became Homeboy Industries: the largest gang-intervention program in the U.S.
In this interview Fr Greg Boyle shares about his own vocation, the work of Homeboy Industries, and what he has found to be the key to bringing hope and healing to young people.
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Fr Greg Boyle has been in Australia speaking at some of Australian Catholic University’s campuses. Stay tuned for one of his talks, available soon on Cradio.
For more information on Homeboy Industries, Fr Greg Boyle and his book Tattoos on the Heart, visit www.homeboyindustries.org.