On Tuesday, May 23rd, Father Greg Boyle made his long-awaited visit to Cheverus. The acclaimed author and director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles is the author of this past Summer’s community read, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.
Homeboy Industries, located in Los Angeles, California, is the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program in the world. Homeboy serves upwards of 7000 community members a year, providing support in many areas, including workforce development, substance abuse support, education services, and even tattoo removal. Accompanying Homeboy Industries are almost a dozen “social enterprises,” providing jobs to members and needed services to the community. These include Homeboy Electronics Recycling, Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Cafe, Homeboy Catering, Homeboy Silkscreen and Embroidery, Homeboy Gear, Homeboy Diner at City Hall, Homeboy Grocery, Homeboy Farmers Markets, and their online store, the Online Market.
Father Boyle speaks to the Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Classes, as well as some from St. Brigid.
During his visit, Father Boyle spoke to the Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and faculty in the gym during an X-Order block. In his speech, Father Boyle talked about the meaning of the student’s experience at Cheverus, telling that Cheverus is not a place you come to, but a place you leave from. He told countless stories of his experiences over the years, from his early involvement in the many gang communities of Los Angeles to his years serving them at Homeboy. In all his stories, he exhibited how the people he served affected him, and how not only he served them with his love, but how they served him. Relating his talk on his experiences to ours, he explained how we should take this perspective when completing our own service, that is, letting those who we serve impact ourselves for the better.
Students from St. Brigid joined Cheverus students in the Gym for the event.
Father Boyle was welcomed warmly by the student body, with lots of applause and laughter throughout the morning event. Students even greeted, talked, and posed for photos with him on their way out of the gymnasium. The event marked the return of an author visit to Cheverus, the first time an event like this occurred in-person since the fall of 2019 when Cheverus welcomed Craig Grossi, author of that summer's community read, Craig and Fred. During the 2020-2021 school year, students joined a ZOOM webinar with Brendan Kiely, author of the book All American Boys.
A group of students talks with Father Boyle following the event.
Besides Barking to the Choir, his second book, Father Boyle has authored two others. His first, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, was a New York Times Bestseller, and is read today in Cheverus Theology classes. He released his third book in 2021, titled The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness.
Announced recently, this summer's community read is Sooley, written by New York Times bestselling author John Grisham.