Bishop Ward students, faculty and staff traveled to Johnson County Community College to hear Father Gregory Boyle, SJ, speak. Father Boyle is the author of Tattoos On The Heart and the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles California.
Homeboy Industries seeks to give job training and job opportunities to those who have been involved with gang violence. More than this, Father Boyle talked about how we are called to be in kinship with those who are on the margins.
Father Boyle said, “No daylight to separate us. Only kinship. Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.”
Fr. Boyle urged us to find that perfect balance between the person serving and the population being served. “True service” he remarked, “is when it is impossible to tell who is being served and who is doing the serving.”