To celebrate the 19th year of Pasadena’s One City, One Story community reading project, the public is invited to a conversation with Father Gregory Boyle, author of this year’s selected novel, Tattoos on the Heart, Sunday, March 14, at 2 p.m. on Zoom. Father Boyle will discuss his experiences writing Tattoos on the Heart. A question-and-answer session led by Pasadena Public Library Director Michelle Perera will immediately follow. The event is free and open to the public. To attend, sign up at http://pasadena.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=3992.
Tattoos on the Heart is a series of parables about kinship and redemption from pastor, activist and renowned speaker Father Gregory Boyle. In this, his debut book, he distills his experience working with gang members into a breathtaking series of stories inspired by faith. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.
From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JC Penney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From 10-year-old Pipi, we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Lulu, we come to understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the dark—as Father Boyle phrases it, we can only shine a flashlight on a light switch in a darkened room. This is a motivating look at how to remain faithful in spite of failure, how to meet the world with a loving heart, and how to conquer shame with boundless, restorative love.
Founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, Father Boyle has dedicated his life to helping the most marginalized individuals find a place in society. In a moving example of unconditional love in difficult times, the Jesuit priest and bestselling author of Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship shares what three decades of working with gang members in Los Angeles have taught him about faith, compassion and the enduring power of kinship.
Critics hailed Tattoos on the Heart as an “astounding literary and spiritual feat” (Publishers Weekly) that is “destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality” (Los Angeles Times).
Father Boyle has received the California Peace Prize and has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, President Obama named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He was named the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, a national culinary-arts organization, and he received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics. Currently, he serves as a committee member of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Economic and Job Recovery Task Force as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Homeboy Industries received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize of $2.5 million, given to non-profits that have made “extraordinary contributions” toward alleviating human suffering.
One City, One Story is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading and literature and to promote tolerance and understanding of differing points of view by recommending a compelling book that engages the community in conversation. This year’s theme is “Books for our Times.” For more information on this year’s activities, visit http://cityofpasadena.libguides.com/onecityonestory.
The Pasadena Public Library is an information center for the Pasadena community in order to preserve and encourage the free expression of ideas essential to an informed citizenry. A variety of highly vetted programs are presented for children and adults and they represent the research and opinions of the presenter and do not reflect an endorsement by the City of Pasadena nor the Pasadena Public Library.