by Kerry Torpey ’20
At the Providence College Academic Convocation this year, Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., spoke to attendees about his book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. Ever since I read it in school and learned about Homeboy Industries, Fr. Boyle’s words have always been a source of wisdom and encouragement for me.
For those who may not know, Fr. Boyle founded Homeboy Industries in 1992 as a resource for former gang-affiliated men and women as well as the formerly incarcerated. They provide services such as counseling, education, career training, legal assistance, and job opportunities.
It is organizations like Homeboy Industries that teach others how to best foster what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would describe as beloved community, where we live in peace and justice.
In the book, Fr. Boyle says, “Close both eyes; see with the other one. Then we are no longer saddled by the burden of our persistent judgments, our ceaseless withholding, our constant exclusion. Our sphere has widened and we find ourselves quite unexpectedly in a new expansive location in a place of endless acceptance and infinite love.”
I think it is important for us to remember Fr. Boyle’s message of empathy and tolerance not only when we are off campus, but here in our community.
On campus, we have students, faculty, and staff who come from different backgrounds and cultures. It is our job as members of this community to “close both eyes” and build our campus up on a foundation of “endless acceptance and infinite love.”
When we work together towards a common goal, we are at our strongest. This school year, let’s make it a goal to widen our sphere—together.