Fr. Greg Boyle shares wisdom on the power of kinship


Savana Olivas

An original illustration of Fr. Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries.

On Oct. 17, Brophy, Xavier and Saint Francis Xavier middle school students assembled in the Robson Gymnasium at Brophy College Prep to bear witness to the work of Fr. Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries.

With two of his “homeboys,” Fr. Boyle described the realities of gang life in Los Angeles, California: families torn apart by addiction and abuse, gang violence and the emptiness of anger and resentment. The words of Fr. Boyle, were eye-opening for some students.

Xavier senior Katie Coury said, “Father Boyle’s witness to serving God through his work at Homeboy Industries exemplifies how good things can come through patience, and he’s a positive role model for us.”

In his speech, Fr. Boyle’s told the crowd of sixth through twelfth grade students, “The schools we attend are not the places we go to, but the places we go from.” Fr. Boyle also said encouragement is necessary  in order to pursue excellence with love.

From there, we go to play our part in the world, Fr. Boyle said, emphasizing that “we are sent forth to the margins.”

According to Fr. Boyle, we do not go to the margins to change what we find there, but to find something that will change us.

Through service and brokenness, kinship is built, Fr. Boyle said. Even within gang life, attempts at kinship break down barriers and bring communities together. “Kinship works every time,” Fr. Boyle said. Every homeboy who comes through the doors of Homeboy Industries, is welcomed, loved and respected. They are treated with dignity and acquainted with a new way to live, a way of hope and opportunity.

In response to the assembly, Xavier World History teacher Gina Nuñez shared, “I wish we did more [assemblies] like that, to [make] us stop and think.”