University to Present Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award to Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J.

Mar 29, 2011

The University of Scranton will present its annual Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award for Distinguished Contributions to Ignatian Mission and Ministries to Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder and chief executive officer of Homeboy Industries, at a University assembly in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall on Thursday, April 7, at 11:30 a.m.

“Fr. Boyle has compiled an admirable record of community service through his innovative work with gang-involved youth in Los Angeles. His work is a living example and inspiration of the Ignatian ideal of service,” said Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president of The University of Scranton.

In 1988, Fr. Boyle created Jobs For A Future (JFF) in an effort to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth. Working with community leaders, he established an elementary school and a day care program and developed employment opportunities for young people.

Four years later, Fr. Boyle launched Homeboy Bakery. Its mission was to create an environment that provided training, work experience and, above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side-by-side. The success of the bakery led him to establish additional businesses, and JFF became Homeboy Industries, an independent nonprofit organization, in 2001. Today Homeboy Industries’ nonprofit economic development enterprises include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy Maintenance, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise and Homegirl Café – with Fr. Boyle serving as executive director.

 A highly regarded expert on gangs and intervention approaches, Fr. Boyle speaks at conferences and university commencements, and he is a consultant to youth service agencies, employers, governmental agencies and policymakers.

Fr. Boyle has received numerous accolades on behalf of Homeboy and for his work with former gang members including: the California Peace Prize from the California Wellness Foundation (2000); the Humanitarian of the Year Award from Bon Appétit magazine (2007); and the Civic Medal of Honor from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce (2008), among others. In 2009, to honor the 25th anniversary of Fr. Boyle’s ordination, the Los Angeles Headquarters Association honored him as one of the city’s leading visionaries responsible for changing the face of Los Angeles.

Fr. Boyle became an ordained a priest in the Jesuit order 1984. He received a Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology and a Sacred Theology Master’s degree from the Jesuit School of Theology. Prior to establishing Homeboy Industries, Fr. Boyle taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles; worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia; was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission in Los Angeles; and served as chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and Folsom Prison in California.

The Arrupe Award is named in honor of the late Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., the superior general of the Society of Jesus from 1965 to 1983. The University of Scranton instituted the award in 1995 to further its namesake’s vision by recognizing men and women for outstanding contributions in a wide variety of Ignatian-inspired ministries.

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