23 May 2024

Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Father Greg Boyle

From Nights, 10:18 pm on 23 May 2024

When Father Greg Boyle became priest of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles, at least nine gangs were active in the vicinity of the parish.

Two years later he and others from the church decided to do something about it, and founded what would eventually become the most successful gang rehabilitation programme in the world.

Now called Homeboy Industries, the foundation attracts nearly 10,000 people a year wanting to better their lives.

It's been so successful and changed so many lives, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the United States, and May 19 is now Father Greg Boyle Day in Los Angeles.

He's currently visiting New Zealand as a guest of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa the Māori Anglican Church and spoke to Emile Donovan about the work he does and why compassion is at the core of everything he does.

Father Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world Photo: Homeboy Industries