When you’re in your darkest hour, dealing with tough circumstances that don’t seem to have an end in sight, it can be easy to lose hope. And, have those around you give up on you, even abandon you. But, in today’s powerful conversation, you’ll discover how two people, from profoundly different walks of life, found each other and not only transformed their own lives, but also the lives of so many around them.
Father Greg Boyle has become known to millions as the Jesuit priest who asked to be placed in a neighborhood in LA deeply affected by poverty, surrounded by gangs and unbearable violence, where he’d eventually found Homeboy Industries, and grow it into a complex of companies that helped provide a safe space, education, community and a livelihood for former gang-members, many of whom had also been in and out of prison their entire lives. Homeboy has since become the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry program in the world, and employs and trains gang members and felons in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to thousands of men and women each year who walk through its doors seeking a better life. Father Boyle is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion and Barking at the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.
Along the way, Fabian Debora found his way to Homeboy. A gang member, addicted, and formerly incarcerated, he lived a brutal life, at one point, becoming so despondent, he came close to taking his own life. He shares this moment in the conversation, by the way, so if you’re sensitive to this topic, please take care when listening. All the while, Fabian had the soul, impulse, and wisdom of an artist that he kept trying to express, but found himself ever-stifled, at one point he was even punished for expressing in school.
Until he met Father Boyle and became part of the Homeboy Industries community, where he finally felt seen and given the space to not only let art take center stage and renew his sense of purpose and identity. Fabian started creating stunning, large-scale paintings that reflected everything he’d experienced, and would eventually partner with Father Greg to become Executive Director of the Homebody Art Academy. And, they’ve partnered on a new book, Forgive Everyone, Everything. It is a powerful collection of Fr. Greg’s most poignant writings and Fabian’s stunning art, making this book a modern-day devotional that will provoke and inspire readers.
In today’s unusual conversation, we have both Father Greg Boyle And Fabian Debora on the line. And, a quick head’s up, as you’ll hear in the conversation, Fabian was joining in from his phone and, navigating the Art Academy and sometimes even heading outside to get a signal for the conversation. So, the audio quality will reflect this circumstance. Don’t let that dissuade you from listening to Fabian’s powerful contribution, personal stories and deep insights on what truly matters in life.
If you LOVED this episode:
- You’ll also love the conversations we had with Mike Han about the power of artistic expression as a source of impact and connection.
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