Father Greg Boyle, SJ, the inspirational founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, a social enterprise based in Los Angeles to help young people avert a life of gangs, drug abuse and street violence, will receive the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, according to a Catholic News Service report appearing on the National Catholic Reporter (March 28, 2017) web site.
Homeboy Industries employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises. The program also provides other therapeutic and educational services, tattoo removal and work readiness and job training.
In a statement announcing the award on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday, Notre Dame president, Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins, said, “For nearly 30 years, Father Boyle has served men and women who have been incarcerated and involved with gangs, and, in doing so, has helped them to discover the strength and hope necessary to transform their lives,”
“Father Boyle’s solidarity with our sisters and brothers at the margins of society offers an inspiring model of faith in action. We are grateful for the witness of his life and honored to bestow this award on him,” Father Jenkins added.
The university established the Laetare award in 1883 as an American counterpart of the Golden Rose, a papal honor that dates to before the 11the century. The medal has been awarded annually at the university to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrates the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity. It will be presented at the university’s commencement ceremony on May 21.
For the entire NCR report, click here.