Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J. to present Tattoos on the Heart and the story of Homeboy Industries

Hannah BreeceSeptember 18, 2013

(DENVER) -- The founder of California-based Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention, rehabilitation and societal re-entry program, will be the initial speaker at the Regis University fall semester Catholicism in the Modern World Speaker Series at 7 p.m., Oct. 3 in the University’s St. John Francis Regis Chapel.

Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., who is also a member of the Regis University Board of Trustees, will present on Tattoos on the Heart and the story of Homeboy Industries.  Boyle’s story, his book, and video clips of his presentations are used in several classes across Regis University’s three colleges.

“The ministry that Father Boyle started arose out of his own experience of watching gang members fight, kill and die,” said Sr. Peg Maloney, who coordinates the Regis University Catholic Speaker Series.  “He found himself doing too many funerals for too many young people with great potential, but no training or support.  His outreach in the early years and his steadfast determination to keep moving forward are a genuine reflection of what we mean at Regis when we encourage students, staff and faculty to be ‘men and women with and for others.’”   

Boyle has received a number of awards and recognitions for his work, including the Civic Medal of Honor and the California Peace Prize, among others, and he has 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.  Boyle is also the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.  He established Homeboy Industries in 1988, four years after his ordination as a Jesuit priest.

Homeboy Industries is now the largest program of its kind in the United States, and it has been recognized for its substantial impact on the lives of the formerly incarcerated and gang-involved youth.  The organization’s seeks “to help former gang members redirect their lives and become contributing members of their families and our communities.”  Homeboy Industries chiefly serves those from low-income homes and from diverse ethnic and experiential backgrounds.  Many of the program’s clients have experienced extreme trauma in their lives ranging from abuse and violence to childhood abandonment.

All services and programs are provided by Homeboy Industries free of charge, which includes case management, tattoo removal, job preparation and placement, mental health services, legal services, curriculum and education and solar panel training and certification.  Homeboy Industries also provides a place to work in order for clients to learn the skills necessary for employment and experience in order to succeed outside of the program. 

The presentation is free and open to the public, but off-campus guests are encouraged to arrive early to get parking. 

The Catholic Speaker Series is presented to the Regis and local communities as part of Regis’ commitment to providing on-going adult faith formation, particularly surrounding the critical issues that face us in today’s world.  

Boyle’s book and video, as well as merchandise from Homeboy Industries will be on sale before and after his talk.  For more information about Homeboy Industries, visit www.homeboyindustries.org.