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Tattoos on the Heart
An Evening with Fr. Greg Boyle
Sponsored by our friends at
Wednesday, September 5th, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
The Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. A native Angeleno, Father Boyle entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984. After ordination, Father Boyle spent a year living and working with Christian base communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In 1986, he was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East LA. At the time, Dolores Mission was the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located between two large public housing projects with the highest concentration of gang activity in Los Angeles.
Today, Homeboy Industries employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to 15,000 men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.
Father Boyle is the author of the New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, which was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award.
Father Boyle is the subject of Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock’s 2012 documentary, G-Dog. He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation, the national culinary-arts organization.
There will be a Sponsors Dinner prior to the keynote address at 5:30p. For those interested in attending both events, see the Sponsors Dinner information on the registration page for details.
Words from our Regional Director, Kathleen Groh
I had bare spots in the yard this year after the construction of my new porch. I enjoyed spreading the grass seed and hand sprinkled it like a sower sowing seed. I watered and checked it daily and also saw that much of it ended at the bottom of the driveway after driving rains!
Many of the parables of Jesus refer to sowing and growing plants even though he was a carpenter’s son and most of his apostles were fishermen. They lived in the lush green land of Galilee and would witness the sowers planting seeds. They gave credit to the divine, to God, for the resulting new life each time one of them would sprout.
I think all of us were witnessing miraculous new sprouts this year after our April snow. We didn’t have spring! Two weeks after twenty-one inches of wet, sloppy snow, I had daffodils blooming in the back yard. Everything seemed to be waiting impatiently to sprout and burst out happily from their winter’s nap.
I like Jesus’ lesson in the parable of the mustard seed the best. I learned that that tiny seed can sprout up to 6 – 8 ft! Farmers work hard to kill it, but it usually returns the next year. It has a prolific growth pattern and spreads quickly much like Creeping Charlie!
Jesus took this image and likened it to God’s kingdom on earth and the hope for it to flourish. You can’t stop the growth of the kingdom once the seed has been planted.
So, no pun intended, we are called to be sowers of the Good News, to nurture and water what has already begun in this kingdom of God. We need to be as persistent as a mustard seed and spread God’s love around in our homes, schools and workplaces. What mustard seeds have been planted in you?
The Ignatian Volunteers are surprised daily by God as their mustard seed of faith sprouts in their service site work. They see the difference in the lives of those who need compassion, dignity and hope as they serve. Surprisingly, it changes them, too. That is the beauty that we witness when we gather for reflection at our monthly meetings. We are different once we recognize that God is in all things.
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps is looking for a few good people
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) is a Jesuit-affiliated service organization dedicated to serving the needs of local people who are poor or vulnerable, working for a more just society and growing deeper in Christian faith through reflection and prayer. A guided process of reflection in Ignatian spirituality helps IVC volunteers discover the deeper meaning of the work they do as they gather monthly to pray and share their work experiences.
Semi-retired or retired? If you have extra time during the week—one or two days—to give in service to others, the Ignatian Volunteer Corps needs you! Your lifetime of experience can be turned into meaningful service for others. We are looking for people to assist in schools, parishes and non-profit agencies. If you can teach or tutor or have literacy or computer skills, you are especially needed to help our immigrant population. If you are willing to help others find housing and jobs, assist with office and administrative tasks, provide legal assistance or distribute food among other things, IVC is the place for you. At this time we have eight service sites waiting for IVC Volunteers!
Contact Kathleen Groh, Regional Director (651) 777-0991 or email@example.com
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps is blessed to have IVC volunteers that are committed to serving those who are poor and less fortunate in non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities. These organizations are struggling to adapt to the changing needs of those they serve and are doing so with fewer resources for staffing. Their funds from local, state, and national outlets are often reduced or eliminated and they struggle to secure grant opportunities to make up the difference. In the meantime, there are hundreds of Minnesotans who need access to services they depend on to keep them warm, safe, and fed.
Traditionally, the IVC provides skilled and experienced volunteers for these non-profit organizations regardless of their ability to pay for that support. The IVC volunteers fill much needed positions that organizations depend on to provide continuity of service to their clients. When these organizations utilize IVC volunteers to extend their staffing needs, it allows them to redistribute much needed funding to other core programming areas that otherwise may be reduced or eliminated. As a supporter of the IVC, you understood this need and have responded generously in the past to help the IVC continue to fulfill its mission of serving others in their time of need and work for justice. Thank you!
However, I wish I could say the need is decreasing, but it is not – the need is growing. This past year, I have had conversations with organizations that need our services, but are having a difficult time putting together the funds for a partnership fee. We have worked hard to keep our fees low at approximately $4 an hour, however even this nominal charge proves difficult for many organizations with limited budgets. Due to our commitment to serve the community IVC volunteers have been placed at no charge to the organization and as a result, IVC has given $8000 in sponsorships this year. With your help, financially stressed organizations are able receive the much needed volunteer support.
When you choose to support IVC, you are helping to provide over 10,000 hours of volunteer service to organizations that:
- Address chronic homelessness
- Provide emergency services
- Serve persons and families with disabilities
- Reduce recidivism for ex-offenders
- Educate disadvantaged youth
- And do much more for those who are vulnerable and less fortunate
Let’s Increase Our Impact. Let’s Increase our Service!
If you’ve attended an event, been a volunteer or a spiritual reflector, work in one of our service sites, or are connected to IVC in any way, please consider making a gift today!
Are you called to serve?
Learn more about Ignatian Volunteers in the Twin Cities