You Are My Neighbor Explores Boundless Compassion

The Southside Catholic Peace and Justice Committee, in coordination with local organizations and faith groups, is excited to announce the next You Are My Neighbor event, “Disrupting Violence.” Coordinators of the event invite area residents to a series of film screenings, pop-up book clubs and discussions in February and March that will culminate in a presentation by Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J. along with local Chicagoans working on anti-violence initiatives.   

Fr. Boyle is the author of the New York Times-bestseller “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” and founder of Homeboy Industries in East Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention program in the world. The event is Thurs., Apr. 11, 7 p.m., St. Barnabas Church, 10134 S. Longwood Dr. All are welcome. 

Father Boyle will share talk about his experiences in the poor and violence-prone neighborhoods where he began his ministry 30 years ago which led to founding Homeboy Industries. With Father Boyle as its leader, Homeboy Industries has grown from a small community effort to a $20 million organization that provides opportunities for young people in poor and isolated neighborhoods to change the direction of their lives through resources that “disrupt” the effects of past violence and trauma. 

Film Screenings 

Screenings of “G-Dog,” the 2012 documentary about Father Boyle directed by Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock, are scheduled for Sun., Feb. 24, 3 p.m., St. Barnabas Church Hall, 10134 S Longwood Dr., and Wed., Mar. 13, 7 p.m., Christ the King, Gleeson Center, 9235 S Hamilton. The entertaining and inspiring film tells the story of how Fr. Boyle – a Jesuit priest also known as G-Dog – became an expert on gangs and “disrupting” violence. 

Book Clubs 

Pop book clubs will meet to discuss Fr. Boyle’s “Tattoos on the Heart,” which was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award. Discussions are open to all and will be held at: BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr., led by Rev. Ben Heimach-Snipes, pastor of Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, Wed., Feb. 27, 10 a.m.; Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9401 S. Oakley, led by Pastor Jennie English-Dumont (Bethlehem) and Father Bill Malloy (St. Barnabas), Sun., Mar. 10, 3 p.m.; Beverly Yoga Center, 1917 W. 103rd St., with Carly Carney, Sun., Mar, 31, 3:30 p.m., and Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, 5114 S. Elizabeth St.(date will be shared in the March Villager). Copies of the book as well as study guide for personal book clubs are available at Bookies, 10324 S. Western. 

Discussion Series 

Bethlehem Lutheran Church will explore the theme “Boundless” at midweek Lenten series Wednesdays, Mar. 6 through Apr. 10, 7 p.m., discussing boundless compassion, boundless hope, and boundless worth through dramatic presentations, worship and small group studies. 

In his presentation in April, area residents will hear Fr. Boyle tell stories of trauma and hope, and how a community built on the virtues of boundless love and radical kinship encourages us all to embrace the humanity and dignity of all of our neighbors, no matter how we differ by race, income, class and experience. 

You Are My Neighbor events are sponsored by Southside Catholic Peace and Justice and local church and community organizations.