A Short Interview with Father Gregory Boyle
The following interview is taken from the documentary film Homeboy Joy Ride
What is Homeboy Industries?
Father Gregory Boyle: Homeboy is the same principle as drug addiction. Rehab is not for those who need it, but it is for those who want it. So a lot of people need it, but we don’t coerce people to come here in the same way you wouldn’t with drug rehabs. You know, do people want it and it takes what it takes in recovery. .You know it’s something that turns the light switch on, but nobody can do that for anybody else. You just have to get to a place where it makes sense to walk towards the light or walk towards health.
Is there a right way to live the gospel?
Father Gregory Boyle: Here we want to take seriously what Jesus took seriously, which is inclusion, non-violence, unconditional loving kindness, and compassion and acceptance. So that’s what Jesus took seriously, and only those four things really. And so we want to do the same…..William Carlos Williams used to say about poetry, is if it ain’t about the pleasure it ain’t a poem. And that’s the same thing about living the gospel, it ought to be joyful and happy. Otherwise you’re not doing right.
What keeps up from happiness?
Father Gregory Boyle: The word sin, comes from a word that means missed the mark. But what’s the mark we miss? It’s not like bad behavior—good behavior, no the mark is joy, and sin is what keeps us from joy. From having access to happiness. And that’s what you want to do, that’s what you want to have.
About Father Boyle
Father Gregory Boyle, S.J. Angeleno and Jesuit priest, is the founder and director of Homeboy Industries, the world’s largest gang-intervention and rehabilitation program.
About Homeboy Industries
Homeboy Industries is a youth-based gang-intervention and rehabilitation program program founded in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Homeboy Industries works directly with former gang members, high-risk youth, and offers free legal services, education and mental health counseling, work-force training and job services.
The documentary film Homeboy Joy Ride is the first film in the Called From Darkness series which explores the spiritual dimensions of addiction recovery. Cessation of the drug is just a beginning and slowly through grace, gratitude, and humility the miracle of transformation occurs allowing former addicts to find joy, meaning & purpose. Learn more about Homeboy Joy Ride at the Catholic Sentinel.
Home Boy Industries is the living model of community and transformation. It is the starting point on a joy ride that takes people suffering from addiction, isolation, and marginalization to heaven on earth. This is where individuals come together to heal themselves and each other and rebuild their communities by finding meaning and purpose.