News
Fr. Greg Boyle Receives Prestigious Laetare Medal at Notre Dame Commencement

May 24, 2017 — Jesuit Father Gregory Boyle, founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, was awarded the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal — the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics — at the university’s commencement ceremony on May 21.

John J. Brennan, chairman of Notre Dame’s board of trustees, told Fr. Boyle it was given to him “to recognize and praise you … for your 30 years and more of service in the gang-riven barrios of East Los Angeles. … You have exemplified the ancient imperative at the wellspring of a faith ever new: ‘Where there is no love, put love, and you will draw forth love.’”

Fr. Boyle founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles in 1988, and it is now the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world.

“As a fledgling Jesuit, you learned from Ignatius ‘to see Jesus standing in a lowly place,’ and to that lowly place, that scourged, graffiti-scarred, inner-city conflict zone in and around Dolores Mission Church, you went to meet Him, to embrace and be embraced by your outcast, wounded and garishly tattooed Lord,” said Brennan.

After receiving the medal, Fr. Boyle delivered an impassioned speech that elicited laughter and tears from the crowd.

“You know, what Martin Luther King says about church could well be said about your time here at Notre Dame,” he said. “‘It’s not the place you’ve come to, it’s the place you go from,’ and you go from here to create a community of kinship such that God, in fact, might recognize it. You imagine with God a circle of compassion and then you imagine nobody standing outside that circle. You go from here to dismantle the barriers that exclude.”

Fr. Boyle said there is only one way to get rid of those barriers: go where the joy is, which is at the margins.

“If you stand at the margins, that’s the only way they’ll get erased, and you stand with the poor, and the powerless and the voiceless. You stand with those whose dignity has been denied, and you stand with those whose burdens are more than they can bear, and you will go from here and have this exquisite privilege once in a while to be able to stand with the easily despised and the readily left out, with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop, and with the disposable, so the day will come when we stop throwing people away.”

In closing, Fr. Boyle told the graduates, “The measure of our compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins but only in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them.”

Past recipients of the Laetare Medal include Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr., Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Sister Helen Prejean and Martin Sheen. [Source: Notre Dame]





Recent News

Father John P. McBride, SJ, veteran of the 75th Infantry Division during WW II who saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and helped in the liberation of France before becoming a teacher, pastor, and chaplain throughout the Northwest, entered into God’s peace October 20.

A year following his death, the late Jesuit Superior General Father Peter-HansKolvenbach, SJ, has been honored with the launch of a new website.

Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School has named Margaret Higgins, PhD, its next president.

This fall, the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight program will mark a decade highlighting the mission of Jesuit education through basketball with two Jesuit Basketball Classics, played by four men’s and women’s teams.

Father Lawrence Bernard Murphy, SJ, longtime teacher at Loyola High School and parish priest at St. Brendan’s Church, Los Angeles, entered into God’s peace October 18 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Calif. He was 90.

The Jesuit High School of Sacramento Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed Father John P. McGarry, SJ, as the school’s new president. Father McGarry will assume his duties at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

From November 4-6, nearly 2,000 individuals — mainly young adults representing 26 Jesuit colleges and universities, 49 Jesuit high schools, seven Jesuit parishes, current and former Jesuit Volunteers, and hundreds of alumni of Jesuit schools — gathered to hear speakers talk about social justice concerns ranging from Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ communities in the Catholic Church to feminism and environmental justice.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016


Companions
Fall, 2017

Update
Summer, 2017

Update
Spring, 2017


Loyola Institute for Spirituality
Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS), founded in 1997, is located in Orange, CA. LIS provides many programs and services for individuals, parishes, and dioceses throughout Southern California and beyond.