Sketchnotes of Fr. Greg Boyle's Interview with Krista Tippett+Enlarge image

Remember Casey Kasem's line: "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars." Father Greg Boyle does just that. He's one of those amazing Jesuits who lives a life of the mind, then uses his moral imagination, and then puts these ideas into action. A priest well-known in certain circles for his gang intervention programs in Los Angeles, Fr. Boyle talks about things like kinship and service in the fullest sense — that we are all brothers and sisters who teach and learn from each other. As a Christian, he says the point of service is about finding kinship and “our common calling to delight in one another.”

Doug Neill's sketchnotes pick up on this idea in our podcast of "The Calling of Delight":

"The day will never come when I am as holy as the people I serve."

I'd ask you to sit down with these sketchnotes while listening to this show. See what you hear differently as you peruse these visual notes. Tell us what you thought we didn't capture or could've emphasized differently.

Share Your Reflection



I just listened. Very compelling. I am looking for that poem he read at the end of the interview.

Thank you for the program on Father Greg Boyle, Society of Jesus, and his work. It has helped provide me with some perspective on comments concerning the good still done in some corners of Roman Catholicism. It is particularly helpful in these times of ganging (sic) up on the Church and many of her officers, including His Holiness Pope Benedict, Society of Hitler Jugend. I wish I were there at the forum to ask the kind Father to comment on the enormous damage done by priests and other men in the Church, many (or mostly) homosexuals, acting out sexually with innocent kids. Fr. Boyle peppers his comments with traumatogenic tales of moms dropping six year old sons off at the orphanage, etc., and all can see how damaging this can be in terms of childhood development. He's correct in saying that the prisons, and death rows, are full of folks whose poor choices were snuggly embedded in the causal web of childhood trauma/neglect. This has certainly been my experience as an alcoholic, violent felon, inmate, and a prison psychiatric physician. There's plenty of talk about the ingredients to and sequelae of childhood abuse in noisier populations such as gangs. But I see little of the same documenting the severe life long challenges faced by the tens of thousands of recovering/languishing abused altar boys. Somehow acknowledging, let alone in depth journalistic exploration of these stories doesn't seem to qualify in terms of certain sensibilities. Most of us aren't brown. We (current company excepted) speak only English. Few are the beneficiaries of affirmative action. But suffer we do, in spite of fat financial settlements like the one I was able to wrangle out of my archdiocese near Boston. The good Father would suggest donating these funds to a charitable outfit like the several he heads up. I've already done so, namely to the victims of my violence. For a while I thought about giving it back to the Church, since the settlement was the closest thing to an apology I ever received from anyone in the Church, and since I really don't need the money. Healing is multidimensional. One dimension is first recognizing the extent of the damage done. Perhaps Fatter Boyle could spend the next quarter of a century. putting the same caring energy into helping recovering altar boys as he does with his cholitos. Robertito.

I am sorry that you are in so much pain. I get the anger, I have it too but unfortunately even an admission of guilt by the church will not heal that very pain that is eating away at your soul. That my friend can only be remedied by your own radical transformation. It is available to you in the loving arms of God. Grace abound there, grace enough to let yourself off the hook.

As a catholic, a minority, a clinician/educator, I say a special prayer for you and others who have suffered at the hands of abusive pedophiles and the lack of protection by the institution that was supposed to protect all its members. May the love of Christ give you peace and heal you. We are each born with special gifts. Fr. Boyle is called for his purpose and his special gift. You, too, are given a special gift and can choose to use it for good. Please continue to help others understand how pedophiles in authority used institutions to commit their crimes against innocents. But remember that you are a whole person. In that wholeness, understand that others have suffered from the results of slavery, discrimination, and other inhumane treatment. Also, try to be aware that there are outstanding priests and religious who continue to work with poor and disenfranchised people and do good works. They have been the "eyes, hands, arms, and feet of Christ." In darkness, ask Christ to be the light.

I was so impressed by the courage and faith that Fr. Boyle shows in working with others. He becomes the hands and feet of Christ. We are all one body in Christ. What a transformative experience and a call for conversion. I was totally moved by the work and connected with the spirituality and higher purpose.

So happy to learn this wonderful man is still around. I have come to learn, my work as a clinical social worker is much the same as his...I truly have many homies and many children and I delight in their joy daily. I try to walk the walk and talk the talk and sincerely gain more than I give in regards to personal growth. While I am still a work in progress, I truly vaule my work and find its God's work too. Thank you for all of your wonderful programing. The program has become a part of my Sunday moning on NPR...I never miss.

Thank you Doug Neill for these sketch notes.

The most meaningful remark I heard is that God is too busy loving us to be disappointed in us. What an incredibly comforting thought!

I listened first to this pod cast while walking and it so moved me. I returned to learn more and found these sketch notes. What I see so clearly now is how Father Greg Boyle sees his passion and his work all around him in every moment. It seems life is a continuous cycle of possibilities for kinship and community and he recognizes it over and over. I'm so happy he was born.

I was traveling thru Iowa this morning and heard this show. Really got into it. I think it's the first time I've heard of "On Being" and I usually listen to NPR. I do wanna get out and buy that book, "Tatoo's On The Heart" I think was the name. Also I was trying to find that verus from a poem or some thing he read at the end of the show. I'd like to read it so I can let it sink in. Where would I beable to find that? Thank You!! And GOOD SHOW!!

Susan Leem's picture

Hello Pete, thanks so much for listening, and your interest in the quote Father Boyle read from a poem called "With That Moon Language." Find it here in the transcripts for the show:

Very facinating. His work is inspiring. He displays the love of Christ to all.
I will reflect on it to improve my work with Celebrate Recovery ministry. Thank You!!

Krista asked us to share our thoughts as a new Pope is elected in a time when the Catholic Church is so injured. My sadness as a Catholic is that I've seen friends and family choosing to be driven away from the faith they were raised in due not to what's at the heart of this religion, but to church hierarchy or individual church "leadership". The Church, is The People. WE are the Church, The Body of Christ. WE are the BODY. The Church is not the heigharchy. If no Pope existed, we would still be The Church, the Body of Christ, alive and living for Love of ALL creatures on earth. Pope or no Pope, we remain.

I could weep for joy for this man, his life, and the funny, wise, vulnerable, powerful, common sense kind of man he is. His words give me joy because of the rightness of what he sees and understands. And how he says all that. He makes me want to grow taller, laugh free-er, more beautiful than I ever thought I could be here at the edge of getting much, much older. I want to begin to see the places fearful to me and be inclusive like a wonderful therapist I alienated. Thank you Krista for all you make possible, you draw us all into the circle. Cassandra

One of my favorite OnBeing pieces. Full of memorable and quotable comments. Inspires me to take a longer look at those around me.

The sketch notes are great and capture the main points of fr. Boyle. But the words that really resonate with me are when he said
something like this:
"We are so used to a 'one false move' God, while in reality he is to busy loving us to be dissapointed in us.

I know I dont have this right, and am now listening again in hopes of getting it right.

I've been evangelizng about this episode to anyone who will listen and I'm hoping to go on a tour of Homeboy Industries next time I'm in LA. But it's the context of kinship and delight that makes this episode so entrancing. You're sketchnotes are great by the way. I promoted the book on our Seattle urban sketcher's FB page.

wow! how timely a program. our new pope, a jesuit and this wonderful man, fr. boyle. there is hope!