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Fr. Boyle to headline fall 2024 Mission Week 

Jun 18, 2024
2 min Read
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Rev. Greg Boyle, SJ

The Rev. Greg Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation program in the world, will be the keynote speaker at Creighton University’s fall 2024 Mission Week celebration.

Mission Week is scheduled for Aug. 23 through Sept. 5, with activities and events planned on both Creighton’s Omaha and Phoenix campuses. The theme of this year’s celebration is Companions in Mission. 
 
Fr. Boyle, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in May, the nation’s highest civilian honor, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address on Monday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. CDT (5 p.m. MST) on Creighton’s Omaha campus, in the Mike and Josie Harper Center, Ahmanson Ballroom.
 
His talk is free and open to the public. It also will be livestreamed. Please register to attend in person or to obtain the livestream link.
 
“I am so excited to welcome Fr. Boyle to our Omaha campus as part of Mission Week,” says Cindy Schmersal, EdD, vice president for Mission and Ministry at Creighton. “His stories of hope, love and human connection – all shared with humor, grace and insight – not only serve as wonderful reflections of Jesuit mission in action, but will inspire and challenge all of us in our daily lives.”
 
Homeboy Industries, located in Los Angeles, employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises and provides critical services to thousands of men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.
 
Fr. Boyle, who served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, California, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city, started what would become Homeboy Industries in 1988.

His stories of hope, love and human connection will inspire and challenge all of us in our daily lives.
— Cindy Schmersal, EdD

For his efforts, Fr. Boyle has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, President Barack Obama named Fr. Boyle a Champion of Change. Fr. Boyle is the author of the New York Times bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
 
Homeboy Industries offers former gang members a place to work and learn skills through various nonprofit social enterprises, including Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen and Embroidery, Homegirl Café, Homeboy Merchandise and more. Homeboy services include case management, tattoo removal, workforce development, mental health and legal services, education, and solar panel training and certification.
 
Fr. Boyle’s Mission Week visit will be sort of a homecoming for the Jesuit priest. Fr. Boyle, who received an honorary degree from Creighton 2009, gave the keynote address at University’s inaugural Mission Week in 2019.
 
Designed to enrich the appreciation of Creighton’s Catholic and Jesuit mission of higher education, Mission Week provides students, faculty, staff, Jesuits and the wider community an opportunity to come together and explore and reflect on the University’s purpose, heritage and animating spirituality.
 
Mission Week coincides with the start of Creighton’s fall academic semester. Events include a traditional Mass of the Holy Spirit for the campus community, with services in both Omaha and Phoenix. This Mass is a centuries-old tradition in Jesuit higher education, whereby the community offers thanks to God for the gifts of creation and asks for blessings for the academic year.
 
Members of the campus community can watch for more information to come soon on campus events. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to participate.