News
Jesuit Father Greg Boyle Named James Beard Humanitarian of the Year

May 6, 2016 — Jesuit Father Greg Boyle, founder and executive director of the gang intervention program Homeboy Industries, has received the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation. The national culinary arts organization presented Fr. Boyle with the Beard medallion on May 2 in Chicago.


2016 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award recipient Jesuit Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries. (Photo: Galdones Photography/JBF)

Named for late cookbook author and teacher James Beard, the James Beard Foundation promotes America's culinary heritage through programs such as educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students and other events. The organization’s Humanitarian of the Year award is given to an individual or organization whose work in the realm of food has improved the lives of others and benefited society at large. Fr. Boyle did just that with the launch of Homeboy Bakery in 1992, where former rival gang members work side by side and learn both business and baking skills.

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” Fr. Boyle said, “but also heartened, because it acknowledges, as well, a community on the margins that has long been demonized. This award, then, imagines a circle of compassion outside of which no one is left standing.”

Fr. Boyle began serving as a pastor at Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles in 1986, at the time the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located near two large public housing projects and the territory of numerous rival gangs. The experience at Dolores Mission inspired him to start Homeboy Bakery nearby. Its success led to additional enterprises with the Homeboy brand, including Homegirl Café & Catering, Homeboy Diner in Los Angeles City Hall, and a retail presence at farmers’ markets throughout the greater Los Angeles area.


Homeboy Industries is now the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, helping more than 10,000 formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women each year. They are welcomed into a community and offered access to a variety of services, including employment opportunities, legal help and even tattoo removal.

Among a wide array of notable accolades, Bon Appetít magazine named Fr. Boyle Humanitarian of the Year in 2007, and he was a featured speaker at the White House Conference on Youth in 2005 at the personal invitation of First Lady Laura Bush.

At Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fr. Boyle received his James Beard award alongside the winner of the James Beard Lifetime Achievement award, Leah Chase, a chef, author, television personality and owner of New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase’s.

“We are very excited to honor these two outstanding individuals whose contributions to not only the food and beverage industry, but society as a whole, are boundless,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Both Leah and Father Greg have impacted the lives of so many people, and we know that their legacies will continue to inspire our community for decades to come.”


Chef Thomas Keller, right, presented the award to Fr. Boyle. (Photo: Galdones Photography/JBF)

“Homeboy Industries wants to be now what the world is called to be ultimately: a community of kinship against forgetting that we belong to each other,” Fr. Boyle said. [Source: James Beard Foundation]





Recent News

October 19, 2017 — Today, the Society of Jesus celebrates the eight North American Martyrs.

Father Martin Irwin Rock, SJ, longtime pastor of Jesuit parishes in Ogden, Utah and elsewhere, entered into God’s peace October 9 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He was 89 and had been a member of the Society of Jesus for 72 years, 58 as a priest.

Pope Francis canonized 35 new saints on October 15, including Brazilian Jesuit St. André de Soveral.

Father Norbert Jerome Rigali, SJ, retired professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of San Diego and other Catholic universities, entered into God’s peace October 4 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Calif., after a long illness. He was 88.

The Bellarmine Preparatory (Tacoma) School Robotics team recently received a $10,000 Best Buy Community Grant. The grant will be used to extend the team’s community outreach with local Boys and Girls Clubs.

W. Kamau Bell was named the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts at Santa Clara University for 2017-18. Bell is a critically acclaimed sociopolitical comedian and host of the Emmy Award-winning hit CNN documentary series “United Shades of America.” As Sinatra Artist-in-Residence, Bell will mentor and engage with students, faculty, and the Santa Clara University community.

Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of St. Francis Borgia, SJ (1510-1572), the third Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016


Update
Summer, 2017

Update
Spring, 2017

Update
Winter, 2016


Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra
The Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra is an adult, youth, and family retreat center in Applegate, Placer County, California, for nonprofit groups of 20-130 (105 guests overnight; +25 additional beds in summer only).