Monday, January 30, 2012

Creator of Heaven and Earth...


“[T]he heaven I believe in … is a taste for the More.  ‘The Kingdom of heaven is within you,’ Jesus taught.  Life around me will not cease to be whatever it is, perhaps, but life within me always offers more.  More depth of understanding.  More of a sense of justice.  More breadth of wisdom.  More levels of gratitude.  More layers of kindness.  More grasp of God.  Heaven is nothing but fullness of life and union with God.  If I do not burst into heaven here, make heaven here for me, for everyone, I sincerely doubt that I will find it anywhere else.  This life as I have been given it is my beaker of God who is in everything, everyone everywhere.”

“The Creed gives a testimony to creation that creation has far too long ignored.  God, the Creed insists, created the earth.  The earth, like us, in other words, breathes the breath of God…   Until we stop denying our interconnectedness with the rest of nature, we will never find God where God is most clear…”

Practical:  Cultivate the kingdom of heaven here on earth, a kingdom made manifest in the love that flows out from you to those around you.  This week, be self-aware as that love flows from you, and recognize, each time it does, that that is a taste of heaven, the interconnectedness we have with one another and with the earth around us.

Quotations from Benedictine sister Joan Chittister’s book In Search of Belief, which explores the Apostles’ Creed phrase by phrase, demonstrating how the Creed is not a static set of rules or statements, but a living document that speaks to the deepest meaning of our existence and serves as a life guide, calling all of us to engage more deeply in relationship with God and with each other.  Sr. Chittister’s thoughts challenge us to live the Creed more fully as Christians; her writing is thought-provoking and inspirational.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 29th 2012, Sunday Gospel Reflection

Mark 1:21-28

Authority In Words and Deeds | Truth in Love

In today’s Gospel we hear about Jesus teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and how the people were amazed that he was teaching with such authority. Later in the Gospel of Mark he tells how a man with an unclean spirit (he did not have God’s presence within Him but the spirit of evil) was yelling at Jesus. Jesus commanded that the evil spirit come out of the man and it did after the man convulsed (like having a seizure). The people who witnessed this were amazed at Jesus because not only did He teach them with certitude and authority but he was able to back it up by healing people, performing miracles.

Jesus did not want people to follow him simply because they witnessed a miracle (as though He were like a traveling magic show). Jesus asked those who followed Him to live their lives in a different way, to allow God’s healing and loving presence transform the world through their (and our) lives.

Jesus taught with authority because He is God. We should live our lives with authority as well. We should not be afraid or timid to love radically or to share our love with other people. Sometimes sharing our love with others means speaking the truth which can be uncomfortable to those who do not have a clean spirit to receive or listen to the truth. Speaking the truth is a challenge because following Jesus is a challenge. Jesus asks us to be in the world but not of the world and to be willing to go against the flow. When we do not do this we end up worshiping other things besides God, we worship or honor political correctness, nice-ness, or other people’s opinions of us instead of worshiping the God who loves us. To follow Jesus we must be willing to do difficult things with great love, to speak truth in our words and our deeds. If we prefer to only speak vocally or only speak through our actions we need to look inside our hearts and figure out what is motivating us? Fear? Pride? Not wanting to upset anyone?

Remember that Jesus is the King of the whole world, He is not just our God, He is God of all! This does not mean we should be unloving or force our faith in Jesus onto others, but it means that in a world that would rather not listen to His message we must be willing to speak in our words and our deeds with the strong and courageous authority of Jesus. We must live and speak truth in love.

Car-ride Questions for Reflection and Discussion
-What do you do when someone does something you know is wrong?
-How do you decide whether you should say something or not?
-Who is someone who I need to love radically this week, to do something so radically loving that they think I am weird?!
-Where do I experience evil in the world that I am called to heal (poverty, anger, judgment, bullying, gossip, etc.)?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What have you to do with us?

It’s hard to imagine a time when people possessed by unclean spirits were commonplace.  When Jesus heals one such man in this week’s Gospel reading, he does so unbidden:  the man does not, cannot ask Jesus for healing because the unclean spirit governs his tongue, speaking for him, dominating his life, binding him.

The experience of the demoniac might seem utterly removed from our experience:  we are not possessed by demons; we are not ruled by unclean spirits.  Yet often, we too can have unhealthy attachments, weaknesses, anxieties or desires – weaknesses we don’t necessarily want to get rid of, desires we cling to.  Fear holds us back when we have an intimation of a truth uncomfortable to hear, one we don’t want to acknowledge.  And so we don’t pray for healing, hoping, perhaps, that God won’t notice.  Maybe we aren’t even entirely aware of our weakness ourselves.

The beautiful thing about the story of the man with an unclean spirit is that God does know, and heals him.  Jesus came precisely to help us cast aside whatever binds us, to free, so that, by the power of his grace, we might be free to serve him, and to love him, better.  God is active in our lives, unceasingly, and always for the good; his love is the preeminent source of order for the chaos of our human lives – if only we can live from a place of trust in that love.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Living With Hope


Conscience Protection and the New Health Care Law

Archbishop of NYC,Timothy Dolan

Stay up to date on policy that affects all faiths. Check out this Op Ed from the Wall Street Journal by the President of the US Bishop's Conference and the Cardinal-elect of New York City, Archbishop Timothy Dolan

He asks: How about some respect for Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

I believe in God,... Almighty, Creator...


“I deeply believe that God is almighty.  But I do not believe God is a magic act.  God is much more than that.  God is almighty enough to enable me to be what I can become without having to depend on a Superman God… [T]o see the Almighty God we must wrest ourselves open to the almightiness of God in us, around us, beneath us, before us, in every possibility that impels us to be more than we are.”

“To say, ‘I believe in the creator’ proclaims, out of the center of my soul, that I know that life is a gift, a responsibility, a venture into human accountability for which there is no excuse acceptable, no justification adequate enough to explain why I did nothing to complete a world given to me for safe-keeping.”

Practice:  Brainstorm with your loved ones to make a list of how you demonstrate your responsibility for your world… and then add one more world-preserving action to the list, and practice it. 

For example, consider enrolling in “Catalog Choice,” a website that allows you to eliminate having store catalogs mailed to your home, preserving trees and sparing the air from transportation pollution.  For more information, go to:

Quotations from Benedictine sister Joan Chittister’s book In Search of Beliefwhich explores the Apostles’ Creed phrase by phrase, demonstrating how the Creed is not a static set of rules or statements, but a living document that speaks to the deepest meaning of our existence and serves as a life guide, calling all of us to engage more deeply in relationship with God and with each other.  Sr. Chittister’s thoughts challenge us to live the Creed more fully as Christians; her writing is thought-provoking and inspirational.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 22nd 2012: Sunday Gospel Reflection

Mark 1:14-20  |  The Calling of the Fishermen
 Today’s Gospel reading tells the story of Jesus calling four fishermen to be four of his 12 Apostles: Andrew, Simon, James and John. Notice that Jesus did not give them a test first or go searching for the best and the brightest, he found normal people (like you and I) and asked them to follow them, and they did!

In this passage the fishermen were open to possibility of God’s presence working in their life and were willing to take a risk to follow the Lord when he called them by name.

God calls us by name too if we are willing to listen to His voice like Samuel did in last Sunday’s First Reading. Jesus does not call us with an iPhone or a Super Bowl commercial but through the small, quiet voice within each of us. We need to find time each and every day to be quiet and still, to take deep breaths and to listen to God’s voice remind us that He is always with us, that He always loves us, and calling us to be the best versions of ourselves. When we talk with God we will hear Him calling us by name to be his hands and feet in this world. As Saint Theresa of Avila said, “God has no body now but yours”. As Jesus said in today’s Gospel, The Kingdom of God is at hand. We are not waiting for God’s Kingdom in the ‘next life’. We are already living in eternal life here on earth. Our responsibility is to make God’s presence felt and known here in Mill Valley so that thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We do this by sharing our faith with everyone we meet both through our actions and words.

Blessed Mother Teresa used to say that God does not ask us to be successful but faithful. This week let us try to be like the first Apostles who had no idea what they were getting themselves into, but were open to God’s presence and were faithful in following Jesus.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion
-What times in my day do I regularly find time to listen to God’s voice?
-What is the most difficult thing about hearing God’s voice?
-How is God asking me to take a risk and follow Him?
-How can I make God’s loving presence felt in my home? School? Workplace? Teams?
-Who is someone I need to share God’s loving presence with in a special way this week?

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Baby Named Timothy

A Baby Named Timothy

   This is the true story of a woman named Pam, who knows the pain of considering abortion. More than 24 years ago, she and her husband Bob were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant.

   Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. Pam said the doctors didn't think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue.

   While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband:If you will give us a son, we'll name him Timothy and we'll make him a preacher.

   Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam's youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father's ministry in the Philippines . He also plays football. Pam's son is Tim Tebow.

   The University of Florida 's star quarterback became the first sophomore in history to win college football's highest award, the Heisman Trophy. His current role as quarterback of the Denver Broncos has provided an incredible platform for Christian witness. As a result, he is being called The Mile-High Messiah.

   Tim's notoriety and the family's inspiring story have given Pam numerous opportunities to speak on behalf of women's centers across the country. Pam Tebow believes that every little baby you save matters.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Teach me your paths...

Teach me your paths...

Jonah speaks to the people of Ninevah.  What do they hear?  How do they understand Jonah's message?  What causes them to put on sackcloth?  What makes them repent and turn back to God?

Jesus similarly calls the disciples:  Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.  What do they hear?  How do they understand Jesus’ message?  What causes them to follow him?

When God speaks to us, what do we hear?  How do we understand God’s message?

Two images offer food for thought:
Jakob Steinhardt, “Jonah Preaches in Nineveh,” 1923.  
Hand-colored woodcut, Israel Museum.

“I Shall Make You Fishers of Men,” detail, 
St. Peter’s Church, Kilmore Quay, County Wexford, Ireland.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Amazing Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel!

Check out the room where Pope's are elected and the home of Michelangelo's finest!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Glory! a NEW Pro-Life Rap Song by Jay-Z

Power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z recently gave birth to their first child named Blue Ivy.

Odd name? Yes. But check out the most famous rapper in the world promoting the dignity of life and celebrating being a father in the new song Glory.

Song with lyrics here 
(Note: Contains explicit lyrics)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rev. Martin Luther King, Pray for us.

"We must rapidly begin to shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important that people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

-How do racism, materialism and militarism play a role in our lives in 2012? 
What can we do practically to combat them?

We are a human being not a human doing, Martin Luther King Jr. Pray for us.

*Want to read something moving from MLK this week? Try his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

I believe in God, the Father...


“In the long line of human history, … it is not belief in God that sets us apart.  It is the kind of God in which we choose to believe that in the end makes all the difference… To say ‘I believe in God’ means that I commit myself to make God a presence in the center of my life, in the humdrum of my days, in the dregs of my struggles.”

Practice: Too easily we limit who God is to make the God more comfortable for us.  What are the limits that I place on my belief in God? What do I think God can’t do? What am I not willing to let God do?

Practice the presence of God in one of the ways suggested by 17th-century friar Brother Lawrence:
  • practicing “little interior glances,” simple moments of remembering, noticing, or just seeking God’s presence in the midst of whatever is going on.
  • repeating “a little phrase that Love inspires,” letting a word, phrase or image repeat itself quietly deep inside us as we go through our daily activities. (try ‘I am the beloved of God’ or ‘I love you’ or ‘rest in God’)
  • fostering the habit of “conversing everywhere with God,” entering all situations with a sense of relationship with God, a trust in Christ being with us.
  • praying for an open, all-embracing contemplative attitude in all times and places, what he calls “the loving gaze that finds God everywhere.”

Quotation from Benedictine sister Joan Chittister’s book In Search of Belief
which explores the Apostles’ Creed phrase by phrase, demonstrating how the Creed is not a static set of rules or statements, but a living document that speaks to the deepest meaning of our existence and serves as a life guide, calling all of us to engage more deeply in relationship with God and with each other.  Sr. Chittister’s thoughts challenge us to live the Creed more fully as Christians; her writing is thought-provoking and inspirational.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Time Seems so Ordinary Now...

Isaac Garcia, a friend of OLMC and D.R.E. from Vienna, VA, shares a reflection on how to count time during the Season of Ordinary Time. Used with permission from

Back to Counting Time

Time keeps on slippin'....into the future
With the celebration of Jesus' Baptism on Monday, the Church closed out her Christmas season with a bang (really, with a trickle of water).  Gone from St. Mark are the Christmas decorations.  No more creche, no more star behind the altar, no more wreaths, and no more "Merry Christmas."  Our liturgical celebrate of Christmas is over until December 2012, so now what?

Not Plain...
Now we return to what is called "ordinary time."  That phrase sounds very plain and, well, ordinary.  Our liturgical time is "ordinary" right now because we're neither feasting (Christmas and Easter) nor fasting (Lent); we're neither celebrating (solemnities and feast days) nor preparing (Advent).  Our time is "ordinary" because the Church counts all the days between these special moments and numbers them, places them in a certain order with readings that thematic but not necessarily tied down to a certain celebration or moment.  And just like life, we spend most of the liturgical year neither feasting nor fasting; neither celebrating nor preparing.

...But Still Kept
So what can we do to make ordinary time special?  How can we mark this ordered time?  Our Sunday Visitor gives us six ways to living in ordinary time.  You could try one of those six, or you can come up with your own way to focus your spiritual energy during this liturgical season.

What's your favorite way to mark ordinary time?  Or have you never thought about it?  How can your family grow in faith from here until Lent begins on February 22?

Image: Leo Reynolds (flickr)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 15th, 2012: Sunday Reading Reflection

1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening

In today’s First Reading we hear the story of the child Samuel who was the servant of Eli. In his sleep Samuel heard God calling. Thinking it was Eli he went three different times in the middle of the night to see what his master wanted saying “here I am”. As a person of faith Eli realized what was happening and told Samuel when he heard the call again to respond: Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.

God is always present to us and we can hear His voice speaking to us if we listen. God does not use flashy or creative commercials like we are used to hearing. Most times the voice of God does not come in a crash of lightening or booming voice, but in a whisper. In order to hear a whisper we need to be quiet. This means that we need moments of quiet in our life, quiet both on the outside and on the inside.

-When are the times in your day when we are not listening to TV, radio, computer, music?

-Are there times in the day when, even if we get a text, email or phone call we will not answer or look at our phone because what we are doing is important?

-Are there times in the day when we make sure we talk to God? Brushing our teeth, before bed, before meals (even lunch at school or work), first thing in the morning, in the car?

One of the most important things we can do in our prayer is to spend time listening to God, not just talking on and on but to focus on taking deep breaths in and out and to sit in silence or to quietly meditate on a word or a phrase.

Try this:
-After offering up your prayers to God spend a minute repeating a word or a phrase like “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” or “Jesus, I love you” or “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”. Pray the words quietly and slowly and listen for God’s voice. If you have trouble doing this the first time, try a second time.

Prayer, like sports, music, etc. takes practice; don’t give up after the first time!

Friday, January 13, 2012

On That Day, Everybody Ate

On January 12, 2010, Haiti, a country occupying half of a small island in the Caribbean, was rocked with a massive earthquake that affected millions of people, leaving them homeless and without food, clean water, or schools.  Although aid was, for the most part, slow to arrive in Port-au-Prince and its environs, one small non-profit here in the Bay Area – the “What If? Foundation” – was able to rush food to those that needed it most.  The foundation, established by Margaret Trost in conjunction with Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste at St. Clare Catholic Church in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood of the capital, had already been working to feed thousands of children in Port-au-Prince before the earthquake hit, and so they were well placed to give immediate assistance to those in need.  Now, two years later, the work of the What If? Foundation continues, as always, through donations.  55¢ pays for one meal for one child; $250 pays for one year of education.  A little can go a very, very long way in Haiti.

You can see videos chronicling the Foundation’s work on their webpage (under “Blogs and News”), which also offers the opportunity to donate directly online or by mail.  Go to for more information about this amazing program!  Or, read Margaret Trost’s compelling memoir, On That Day, Everybody Ate:  One Woman’s Story of Hope and Possibility in Haiti, available through your local bookstore or online.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening...

Samuel, one of the great prophets of salvation history, was the son of Hannah and Elkanah, conceived only after Hannah (Elkanah’s second wife) pleaded with God for a child.  Hannah promised God that, should he allow her to bear a son, she would dedicate the child to the service of God with a nazirite vow.

Once Samuel, whose name means “Because I asked God for him,” was weaned, Hannah took him to the temple, where he remained in the service of the Lord under the priest Eli.  It is during this time that Samuel hears a voice calling him in the night.  Believing it to be Eli, he runs to him; the third time this occurs, Eli realizes that the Lord is calling Samuel, and tells Samuel to respond, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.  This is the beginning of Samuel’s life as a prophet.

Thereafter, Samuel will go on to become the last of the Hebrew judges as well as the first major prophet to prophesy within Israel.  He will organize the people and lead an army against the Philistines.  Later, when the Israelites insist on having a king to rule over them, Samuel will anoint both Saul and David.

Samuel was open to hearing God’s voice.  If God spoke to us today, would we be ready to respond, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening?

The image below is a 19th-century stained glass representation of the young prophet Samuel and the priest Eli by Edward Burne Jones, from the Vyner Memorial Window, Oxford Cathedral.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A "Thank You" from the Canal Family Support Program

Check out the Thank you notes from the staff and students from the Canal Family Support Program in San Rafael. Thanks to all of you who participated! Click into the pictures to expand the picture if it is too small!

New Year's Patience

Wisdom from Spiritual writer Henri Nouwen. Learn more at

Patience is not waiting for something to finish, but rooting ourselves in the sacrament of the present moment to find our treasure there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Catechist Appreciation!

Check out the pictures from last weekend's Catechist Appreciation Dinner!

We had a great meal thanks to Fr. Pat and had a wonderful time together with the catechist-mentors and their families. 

Catechists, thank you for all of your time and effort to pass on faith to youth and adults in this community! 
A special thanks to the spouses and other family members who support them!

Have you thanked a catechist this week?

Hallelujah (Light Has Come)

Hmmm my Baby
Heaven sent you to me
All the worlds been praying
Who will Save?
But who am I
That here tonight
I hold the one
Who’ll Bring us life

We’ve been found
A child is born
To save us now
Hallelujah light has come
A Savior who will set us free
A Promise for those who believe

Do you hear the Angels
Sing for you my baby
Men and kings have come to
Bow to you
But here in my arms

So close to me
The son of God
Now all can see

Hallelujah We’ve been found
A child is born to save us now
Jesus Halleluiah light has come
A savior set us free

So praise to God on high
He has heard our cry

(If this video is not visible in the emailed version of the blog, click on the blog title to go directly to it!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tebow Time: Is God Answering Tim Tebow’s Prayers?

Check out this great article from the WSJ by Fr. James Martin S.J. about Tim Tebow in the wake of the Denver Bronco's upset win in Sunday's AFC Wildcard game against the Pittsburg Steelers.
Is God Answering Tim Tebow’s Prayers? Will He answer mine?
Wow.  Tim Tebow, the famously religious quarterback who kneels in prayer before, during and after games, led the Denver Broncos to another apparently miraculous win yesterday.  And, as if the win itself weren’t dramatic enough, the football phenom passed for an astonishing 316 yards in ten throws.  That would be 31.6 yards a throw.  Does that number sound familiar?  It should.  It’s the verse from the Gospel of John (3:16) that Mr. Tebow had written on his “eye black,” the patch of paint under his eyes to cut glare.  For those without your Bible handy that would be: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
All this raises the inevitable question, and one that I’ve been asked numerous times over the last few months: Is God answering Tim Tebow’s prayers?

I believe...


What does it mean to say, “I believe…”?

“We want more from religion now than rules.  We want something to help us find meaning in life when all the rules cease to make sense, when all the old systems break down or fade away.  We want a glimpse of God here and now… There is something beyond us; there is something bigger than we are that calls us on; there is purpose to life.”

“Belief is not contrary to fact.  It simply transcends it.  To believe something is to know its truth not so much in our minds, but in the center of our souls…. In sum, belief is the ability to know what we cannot see… Belief is sure in the way that truth is sure.  It rings in our hearts like tines on crystal.”

“To say ‘I believe’ is to say yes to the mystery of life.”

Practice:   Take some time this week to tune into the amazing mysteries of life that surround you.  Don’t try to understand them.  Just notice them, acknowledge them, and recognize God as their origin.  Then tell someone else about them…

Quotations from Benedictine sister Joan Chittister’s book In Search of Belief, which explores the Apostles’ Creed phrase by phrase, demonstrating how the Creed is not a static set of rules or statements, but a living document that speaks to the deepest meaning of our existence and serves as a life guide, calling all of us to engage more deeply in relationship with God and with each other.  Sr. Chittister’s thoughts challenge us to live the Creed more fully as Christians; her writing is thought-provoking and inspirational.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Epiphany!

Check out this great 3min video from America Magazine on the Feast of the 3 Kings (Epiphany)!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunday Gospel Reflection: January 8th, 2012

Happy Feast of the Epiphany! 
Sunday Gospel Reflection (Matthew 2:1-12)
Did you know?
Tomorrow is the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, the official end of the Christmas Season.

Gospel Reflection
In today’s Gospel we recount the journey of the three wise men (magi) who set out to follow the star and find this newborn King of the Jews, Jesus. Each of the three magi brought gifts with them to give to Jesus which are meant to tell us about who Jesus is:

-Gold is a gift given to honor a King. The fact that non-Jewish wise men brought gold to Jesus represents that Jesus is not only the King of the Jews but is the King of all people.
-Frankincense was used in religious rituals by priests to remind the people of God’s presence. This gift represents that Jesus is the Divine Priest who sacrifices himself for us.
-Myrrh is used to anoint the dead and represents that Jesus is fully human and that he was born to die.

We too are called to bring Jesus gifts, not of gold or myrrh, but spiritual gifts. What can we offer? The same thing that Jesus offered to us: the gift of our lives loving God and neighbor.

We too can learn more about Jesus through the gifts that we give to God since we are made in the image and likeness of God. Each of us makes God present in a unique way when we live our lives like Jesus.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion
-What gifts can you give to God?
-How can you make Jesus present in your heart by praying more?
-How can you make Jesus’ radical love present by being kind and loving to someone you don’t like?
-How can you make Jesus’ forgiveness present by forgiving someone?
-How else can you make Jesus present in your life?

Image Credit

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tattoos on the Heart

What do astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Nobel-winning scientist Liz Blackburn, The Beach Boys, athlete Magic Johnson, author Amy Tan, and Jesuit Father Gregory Boyle all have in common?  

In mid-December, all of them (along with a few others) were inducted into the California Hall of Fame.  So what is so special about Father Boyle?  Well, among other things, he is the author of Tattoos on the Heart:  The Power of Boundless Compassion, a remarkably moving personal memoir about the founding of Homeboy Industries, an organization that offers gang-involved youth positive alternatives to their violent environment through jobs, education, business opportunities, and more.  Fr. Boyle’s book records the best and the worst moments of his ministry in southern California; readers will find themselves crying and laughing, sometimes on the same page.  This is not a book for the faint of heart; profoundly disturbing stories of the violence Fr. Boyle has encountered through his ministry are recorded here, but so are beautiful moments of joy and thanksgiving shared by individuals with one common goal:  to embody God’s church here on earth for one another through acts of kindness and boundless compassion.  This book will leave you aching for more, and hopeful for the lives of the many whom Fr. Boyle has touched.

To hear Fr. Boyle talk about Homeboy Industries, watch the video above!