"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." - St. Catherine of Siena

Homeboy Industries, started by Fr. Gregory Boyle in 1988 is an outreach, service-centered non-profit, set up to help gang members get their life on track. Homeboy, now alongside Homegirl Cafe which serves the Homeboy signature baked goods, assists in legal counsel, education (GED classes), career placement, tatto removal, and jobs. Boyle's mission, and the history of Homeboy has been outlined in his New York Times best-selling book "Tattoos on the Heart".

I had heard about Homeboy and Fr. 'G', as the 'homies' call him throughout his book, and in real life, but it wasn't until the kiddos at Camino Nuevo High school were approved, and assigned to read 'Tattoos', that i discovered how much of a fan I am.

There are missions that work, and those that don't. The common theme amongst those that do NOT is they fail at embracing what they do well, and end up taking on a 'greater' mission to do more than they can take on. This is only natural, as altruistic people and groups tend to want to give and give and give, without reasonable expectations of capacities. Homeboy started small, and grew naturally through - what I believe to be - the Holy Spirit, which is so evident at the facility, and in its growth. If you haven't clicked on the Homeboy link, you should and take note, no matter your convictions, or beliefs. The place simply works, albeit a bit of chaos and many struggles along the way. Helping hundreds of gang members get their life on track, is becoming more and more natural for Homeboy, as several have gone off to college, graduated, and started families; leaving the streets and gang-life behind. Truly amazing.

The reason I am so taken by Homeboy, Fr. G and the homies, is that Fr. Boyle has embraced God's will, alongside his own vision to do exactly what he was 'meant' to do; setting the world on fire in the process. We should seek the same in our lives, and never underestimate the power of compassion for those who we fear, or assume wouldn't help us in return.


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