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Greg Boyle's new book offers a modern parable of kinship

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At first, I have no idea what he’s doing. I walked into the office of the Jesuit Father. Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, is the world’s largest gang intervention, rehab and re-entry program. The lobby behind me is bustling with activity, with dozens of people on their way to Homeboy’s many support classes, to see lawyers and therapists, to have their tattoos removed, or at the on-site social enterprise. Pass by to work at one. Many more wait in the crowded row of chairs in the lobby to meet the G, as he’s affectionately known.

Greg’s desk faces the glass wall of his office, and his eyes are fixed on the lobby as he talks to Fabian Deborah, one of the homies and director of the Homeboy Art Academy. Greg is shuffling some papers under his desk. he takes out a pen He then starts calling his name. It’s only then that you realize what’s going on. Father G is taking out his wallet and putting money into an envelope to give to certain people who asked for help. We deliver one by one. It’s been less than five minutes since I’ve been here and he’s already reminded me of God’s love.

I’m here to talk with Greg and Fabian about their new book. forgive everyonemuch of Homeboy’s story is told in both words and images through Fabian’s art.heart tattoo, howl in the choir When All languages) and make yourself at home here. They are both stories and parables, windows into God and one another’s holiness.

Greg’s story is often told in the present tense because he is. Current In all of them he cares very deeply about the person in front of him. I can’t help but think of the name Hagar gave God in Genesis. El He is Roy, the God who sees. Greg’s writings pay homage to the pain and beauty of everyone he meets, and encourage us to do the same, connecting us all to what he calls the exquisite interrelationship—kinship. Pull in. Homeboy is more than just a place to serve. It’s a place where people can find their goodness and be supported by a community of unconditional love.

The central themes of this book are: we have eyes to see “

If the seven sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church is a short list, I ask Greg and Fabian what they have on their long list of sacraments. When Greg looks into the lobby, he finds a sidekick named Torgiano. He pulled out his phone and showed me a text he had recently received. It was a portrait of Torgiano painted by another buddy, and below that I typed in “minimum bid, $1500.” Greg’s reply: “Two thousand dollars” This is as apt as summarizing Greg’s mission and his Homeboy mission. That is, to lead people to a place where they can understand their own infinite worth. “There are sacraments,” he says.

“Not a day goes by without the sacrament if we are to open our hearts and see God in everyone, as we are required to do,” Fabian continues.

Fabian also has a truly sacramental vision. What Greg does with words, what Fabian does with paint. His work draws heavily on elements of his life and community, incorporating Indigenous, Chicano, Catholic and Angeleno elements. Boyle Heights is remarkably distinctive, as is Our Lady of Guadalupe. Fabian sees his own work and creative process as a ritual and a prayer, and he doesn’t miss it from the images that fill his book. The face that gazes out at us from his portrait welcomes us into a sacred space of contemplation and contemplation of what binds us as human beings and what binds us to the Divine Mind.

“Always embrace beauty within your community and remove stereotypes of identity, culture, religion and gender,” Fabian says. “That’s my mission as an artist.” Fabian cites “Convicted All-Stars,” one of her paintings in the book, as an example. In the foreground, the iconic Converse sneaker hangs on a telephone wire against a midnight blue sky. People outside his community often point to sites like this as places children should avoid. Where shoes hang on wires, they say, is a dangerous place, where drugs are traded and people are killed. “That’s the definition of an outsider looking in,” Fabian says. Because in his childhood experience, throwing away old shoes was a simple game of horseshoes, played for the fun of seeing who could throw higher. “I see God in those shoes,” Fabian says, “and the sky is open to receive that image.

Fabian wants gang members Homeboys to understand that they too are the body of Christ. In one of his paintings, a floral dress of Our Lady cascades down the tattooed sidekick’s back. In another, she appears to Juan Diego in the form of a homeboy. Tepeyac is now a project. This is also the sacred place and the meeting place with God that Fabian wants us to see.

As much as homeboy is a place of joy, of course, there is also the tragedy and sadness that characterize those days. Greg told me It’s about the wholeness of the relationship, and it’s the relationship that heals. “

The next day, I have a chance to think about this again when I talk to Todd, a man who is as kind as he is tall. He took me outside to see Carmen. Carmen brings lunch and drinks for her friends for just $2 each day. Todd asks if I can buy him lunch, but I object, saying I want to make sure others have a chance to eat first. I answered.

this is the god you meet forgive everyone: The one who has never-ending love, never-ending compassion, and never-ending joy. Someone who inspires us all to do the same.