Sunday, January 30, 2011


Tim once said, "I'm just an agoraphobic on the go." and I feel that way sometimes. I can always talk myself out of going somewhere on my own. Nadine voiced the desire to go hear an author speak last Friday and later she decided to stay home. If I'm thinking of driving to North Carolina, I'd jolly well better start practicing; I talked her back into the idea of going and off we went. Neither of our husbands seemed interested. We were two women on the loose.

The speech was scheduled at a regular Kiwanis Club meeting which
is held in the Elks Club. Nadine and I both were familiar with the location, or so we thought, but it took us twice around the block before we found it. Either the building was remodeled drastically or it was a new building.

I'm not a clubbish sort, so it was quite a new experience to behold the camaraderie displayed at a Kiwanis meeting, but enjoyable to watch. Lots and lots of people were in attendance and a variety of ages. We ate from the buffet and listened to announcements, singing and joke telling and then Father Gregory Boyle was introduced.

As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Father 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. He founded Homeboy Industries, a part of which is Homegirl Cafe. I urge you to follow the link. (click on "Homegirl Cafe") Father Boyle told us the story of the time that Diane Keaton, for unbeknownst reasons, came to the restaurant and the girl who waited on her, said, "I've seen you before.....where have I seen you?" The actress modestly replied that she had the kind of face that looks familiar. The waitress continued to search her mind and finally said, "I know!!! You and I served time together!"

His other stories were moving......25 years ago he buried the first murdered gang member. This week, there are arrangements to bury the 174th. Heart rending stories...........tear jerking altering inspiration. The 2 young men who came along with him to carry the books and be generally helpful came from rival gangs. Working at Homeboy Industries together made things different.

Nadine bought a copy of "Tattoos on the Heart" for the Manor Library. I bought my own copy. It promises to be a fascinating read.

If the opportunity arises, I recommend you find a way to hear this remarkable man. Or, you can always search out his book.


  1. Thanks Jane!!....I have been reading about him and the financial troubles for a long while for Home Boy industries.. A wonderful man for sure and ding a job God wanted him to do.!

  2. I thought today's heading was Gandhi of the Ganges!

    I have the deepest respect for Greg Boyle! He is extraordinary! He went to Loyola Marymount...where in his undergrad days (may have been grad days) he was a PRESENCE, even if you didn't know him. There was a buzz about him. An energy that stood out.

    Extraordinary! Thanks for highlighting this, Jane!

  3. I read this book a few months ago after hearing him speak at a conference last year. Excellent book, very inspirational. The world needs more people like him!

  4. Hi Jane, What a treat you had to be able to meet Fr. Gregg....a truly amazing person. He somehow has had unbelievable success....and I wonder what will happen when he is no longer here....Don't know if he has found a successor or not....Tragic if he has not. Maybe one of his gang members will be far enough along to take over....will be interesting to watch IF we are still around. Sorry Mr. Bob did not hear him.....
    Son Billy is coming tonight and I am going to ask him to see my choices to submit my comments on your blog so maybe I'll finally show up there....
    Love reading your mannorisms....keep up the good work...Rusti

  5. Gerry Puhara commented on your link.
    Gerry wrote: "Jane Father Boyle has spoken often at our church. Amazing, amazing man."

  6. I have read about him, but how nice that you got the chance to meet him. I imagine he has some fascinating stories to tell. Thanks for sharing this! Aren't you glad you went, now!?

    Oh, and I love Tim's comment. I can relate to that!

  7. Somebody on my facebook list posted an article about the Homeboy products being at Ralph's markets so I went out and bought a bunch just to be supportive. They were really good so I'm now a fan of the products as well as the philosophy. T.O. Joanne