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

July 22, 2020 — Pope Francis declared Fr. Eusebio Kino, SJ, venerable on July 10.

July 14, 2020 — After four ordinations went off without a hitch last week, Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits West Province, had reason to be hopeful.

June 30, 2020 — Fr. Frank Buckley, SJ, clinical director of the Center at Blessed Sacrament, the Jesuit parish in Hollywood, shares how the parish has responded to the pandemic.

June 25, 2020 — Fr. Chris Corbally, SJ, an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory in Arizona, now has an asteroid named for him.

June 24, 2020 — Dr. Fauci explains how his Jesuit education helped prepare him for his work in public health.

June 23, 2020 — Jack Krouse, SJ, of Jesuits West, was ordained to the diaconate at Saint Ignatius Church in Paris on June 20.

June 18, 2020 — Following today’s Supreme Court decision that maintained the DACA program, Jesuits West Provincial Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, said he was overjoyed by the ruling.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits West Magazine - Spring 2020

Jesuits West Magazine - Fall 2019

Jesuits West Magazine - Spring 2019


Companions
Fall, 2019

Companions
Summer, 2019

Companions
Fall, 2018


Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos has offered prayerful solitude and inspiring vistas to those seeking spiritual rejuvenation since 1925.