As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory 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. Tattoos on the Heart is a breathtaking series of parables distilled from his twenty years in the barrio. Arranged by theme and filled with sparkling humor and glowing generosity, these essays offer a stirring look at how full our lives could be if we could find the joy in loving others and in being loved unconditionally. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JCPenney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From ten-year-old Lula we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Pedro we understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the darkness. In each chapter we benefit from Boyle’s wonderful, hard-earned wisdom. Inspired by faith but applicable to anyone trying to be good, these personal, unflinching stories are full of surprising revelations and observations of the community in which Boyle works and of the many lives he has helped save.
Erudite, down-to-earth, and utterly heartening, these essays about universal kinship and redemption are moving examples of the power of unconditional love in difficult times and the importance of fighting despair. With Gregory Boyle’s guidance, we can recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables and learn to find joy in all of the people around us. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.
Father Gregory Boyle was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1982. He received his Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology; and a Sacred Theology Masters degree from the Jesuit School of Theology. In 1988, Father Boyle began what would become Homeboy Industries, now located in downtown Los Angeles. Fr. Greg received the California Peace Prize, the “Humanitarian of the Year” Award from Bon Appétit; the Caring Institute’s 2007 Most Caring People Award; and received the 2008 Civic Medal of Honor from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
Since 1986, Father Gregory has been the pastor of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The church sits between two large public housing projects, Pico Gardens and Aliso Village, known for decades as the gang capital of the world. There are 1,100 gangs encompassing 86,000 members in Los Angeles, and Boyle Heights has the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in the city. Since Father Greg—also known affectionately as G-dog, started Homeboy Industries nearly twenty years ago, it has served members of more than half of the gangs in Los Angeles. In Homeboy Industries’ various businesses—baking, silkscreening, landscaping—gang affiliations are left outside as young people work together, side by side, learning the mutual respect that comes from building something together.
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Book Tour Schedule arranged by Condor Book Tours:
Mon July 5: Dulce Bread and Bookshop
Tues July 6: Busy Moms Who Love to Read
Wed July 7: Rudpinne , The Blowing Branches
Thurs July 8: Flower Patch Farm Girl
Fri July 9: Just Jennifer Reading , Blogs by Latinas
Mon July 12: Literary Lolita, Tweezle Reads , Take 2 Reviews
Tues July 13: Brown Girl Speaks , Knitting & Sundries , Jess in Momland
Wed July 14: Frida's Voice, Tribute Book Reviews
Thurs July 15: Bookhounds , Just My Blog , Amuzing Reviews
Fri July 16: Feminist Review , Rhodes Review
Mon July 19: Being Latino, Not So Ordinary Girls
Tues July 20: Information Central , Mommy of a Monster...
Wed July 21: Charge Shot!!! , Cheap Therapy , You Have How Many Kids?
Thur July 22: Katie's Concert Blog , Colloquim , Having a Hallelujah Good Time
Fri July 23: Wee Share , Mom's the Glue , The Simple Jocabell Life , Books R Us Online
Mon July 26: NYC Girl at Heart
Wed July 28: The Single Mama Review Corner
Thurs July 29: Musings
Fri July 30: Reading at the Beach