Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Having buried close to 200 young people who were killed in gang violence, Gregory Boyle could be pardoned for a lot: despair, cynicism, or at least unremarkable prose. But Boyle re quires no such absolution. Jesuit priest and founder of Home boy Ministries, which is considered the largest gang intervention program in the country, Boyle has managed to write a memoir of his work that is incandescent, always hope-filled and often hilarious. And there is despair here, yes; when one is a friend to gang members, “an exclusive club of young people who plan their funerals and not their futures,” there must be.

 

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