Bannan Visitors

The Bannan Visitors program was a program designed to invite individuals to SCU to engage in issues or activities that support the Jesuit and Catholic character. While the program is no longer active, past visitors provided a rich array of resources to the University.

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

by Greg Boyle, S.J. |

Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J. spoke on the experiences behind his new book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.

Follow-up Book Discussion: Laurie Laird and Valerie Sarma from the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Matthew Smith from Campus Ministry, and Mark Potter from the California Province of the Society of Jesus will be facilitating a book discussion on May 27, 2010 from 3:00-4:30 PM in the Williman Room, Benson Memorial Center, to reflect on Greg Boyle, S.J.'s Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. 

Greg Boyle, S.J. also preached on Sunday, April 18, 2010 at the Liturgy in the Santa Clara Mission Church.

The Lecturer
Fr. Gregory Boyle – best known as Fr. Greg by all who meet him -- was born in Los Angeles, one of eight children. After graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles in 1972, he decided to become a Jesuit and was ordained a priest in 1984. He received his BA in English from Gonzaga University; an MA in English from Loyola Marymount University; a Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology; and a Sacred Theology Masters degree from the Jesuit School of Theology.

Prior to 1986 Fr. Boyle taught at Loyola High School and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He was appointed as Pastor of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1986 where he served through 1992. He then served as Chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and Folsom Prison, before returning to Los Angeles and Dolores Mission.

Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs For A Future” (JFF), a program created in 1988 by Fr. Greg at Dolores Mission parish. In an effort to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth, Fr. Greg and the community developed positive alternatives, including establishing an elementary school, a day care program and finding legitimate employment for young people.

In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Fr. Greg launched Homeboy Bakery, with a mission to create an environment that provided training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The success of the Bakery created the groundwork for additional businesses, thus prompting JFF to become an independent non-profit organization, Homeboy Industries, in 2001. Today Homeboy Industries’ nonprofit economic development enterprises include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy Maintenance, Homeboy/HomegirlMerchandise, and HomegirlCafé.

As Executive Director of Homeboy Industries and an acknowledged expert on gangs and intervention approaches, Fr. Boyle is a nationally renowned speaker. Fr. Boyle was a member of the State Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention and is currently a member of the National Leadership Council of the Iris Alliance Fund, and serves on the Advisory Boards for the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and the National Youth Gang Center.

Information gathered from Homeboy Industries.


The Book
How do you fight despair and learn to meet the world with a loving heart? How do you overcome shame? Stay faithful in spite of failure? No matter where people live or what their circumstances may be, everyone needs boundless, restorative love. Gorgeous and uplifting, Tattoos on the Heart amply demonstrates the impact unconditional love can have on your life.

As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration. Tattoos on the Heart is a breathtaking series of parables distilled from his twenty years in the barrio. Arranged by theme and filled with sparkling humor and glowing generosity, these essays offer a stirring look at how full our lives could be if we could find the joy in loving others and in being loved unconditionally. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JCPenney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From ten-year-old Lula we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Pedro we understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the darkness. In each chapter we benefit from Boyle’s wonderful, hard-earned wisdom. Inspired by faith but applicable to anyone trying to be good, these personal, unflinching stories are full of surprising revelations and observations of the community in which Boyle works and of the many lives he has helped save.

Erudite, down-to-earth, and utterly heartening, these essays about universal kinship and redemption are moving examples of the power of unconditional love in difficult times and the importance of fighting despair. With Gregory Boyle’s guidance, we can recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables and learn to find joy in all of the people around us. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.

Information gathered from Simon & Schuster.

comments powered by Disqus
This text will be replaced

Connecting to Podcast

(Only some Articles have Podcast)

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Find and select iTunesU
  3. Find and select "Colleges and Universities"
  4. Select "Santa Clara University
  5. Select Ignatian center from What's New or Top collections