Gregory (Greg) Boyle, the founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, was born in Los Angeles as one of eight children. After graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles in 1972, he entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest in 1984.
Boyle taught at Loyola High School and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He was Pastor of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles from 1986 until 1992. Before returning to Dolores Mission, he served as Chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom Prison.
Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs for a Future” (JFF), a program created by Boyle in 1988 at Dolores Mission parish. To address the needs of gang-involved youth, JFF established an elementary school, a daycare program, and found employment for young people.
In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Fr. Greg launched Homeboy Bakery to provide training, work experience, and the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The success of the bakery led to the creation of Homeboy Industries in 2001. Today Homeboy Industries’ nonprofit development enterprises include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy Maintenance, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, and Homegirl Café.
As an acknowledged expert on gangs and intervention approaches, Boyle is a nationally renowned speaker. He and several “homies” were featured speakers at the White House Conference on Youth in 2005.
Homeboy Industries was severely affected by the economic downturn in 2009, but is recognized as the largest gang intervention program in the county.
Adapted from: http://www.homeboy-industries.org/father-greg.php
dotMagis Blog Posts
Blog posts about Greg Boyle, SJ.
“Jesuits Revealed!” – Greg Boyle, SJ
Boyle talks about his experience of Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises in this 4-minute video.
Find Your Inner Iggy: Unlikely Places
Boyle shares a story of finding God in this contribution to Find Your Inner Iggy, an annual social media celebration of Ignatian spirituality.