Father Greg (affectionately known as G-dog), pastor of Dolores Mission in Boyle Heights since 1986, has made it his mission to help at-risk youth. His remedy for what he calls “a global sense of failure” is radical and simple: boundless, restorative love. His book, filled with sparkling humor and generosity, gives a window on gangs in the context of spirituality.
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. 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.
Celeste Fremon is an award winning freelance journalist, the author of G-Dog and the Homeboys and the upcoming, An American Family. She is the creator and editor of WitnessLA.com, teaches journalism at the USC Annenberg School and is a Visiting Lecturer at UC Irvine where she teaches literary journalism as it relates to social justice. Fremon is also a Senior Fellow for Social Justice/New Media at the Institute for Justice and Journalism.
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