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Father G with Homies 5

Faith in Action Book Club: Tattoos on the Heart – Reflection and Questions for Introduction and Chapter 1

We hope you have decided to join our Faith in Action Book Club! The book we are reading this quarter is Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, by the Rev.  Gregory Boyle, S.J.   Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world.

In the first chapter of the book, Rev. Boyle shares the experience of CBS News Magazine 60 Minutes’ visit to learn about Boyle’s work with gang members in the housing projects of Los Angeles. When the famously hard-nosed reporter Mike Wallace arrived at the poorest parish in Los Angeles, he was dressed in a flak jacket. The Rev. Boyle confesses he was someone taken aback by the “in-your-face” Wallace dressed as if ready for a journey in a jungle. Later, in a private moment, Wallace admitted “I came here expecting monsters, but that’s not what I found.”

Here are some questions for reflection as you read the first few chapters of the book:

  • As you started reading the stories of the gang members—were you expecting monsters? What did you find?
  • Rev. Boyle writes, “Kinship is not serving the other, but being one with the other. Jesus was not a ‘man for others’; he was one with them.” How are the two different and how does Rev. Boyle integrate this distinction into his work?

OUR BOOK CLUB WILL MEET ON NOVEMBER 8 AT 7 PM IN THE ST. JUSTIN GATHERING SPACE. WE LOOK FORWARD TO DISCUSSING THIS POWERFUL BOOK TOGETHER!

Spiritual Reflection:

Catholic social teaching is based on and inseparable from our understanding of human life and human dignity. Every human being is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and therefore is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family. Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity. Human dignity comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment.

Our commitment to the Catholic social mission must be rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives. In our relationship with God we experience the conversion of heart that is necessary to truly love one another as God has loved us.

~United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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