Kinship: We Belong to Each Other
What do Salvadoran Enterprises for Women (SEW) and Homeboy Industries, a gang centered mission in Los Angeles, have in common? In Fr. Greg’s words, “kinship.” In his 30 years working with gang members, he has sought to help them recognize their dignity and challenged them to transform their lives through work. Exactly, he said, what SEW does with the women in El Salvador.
Jose and David, two of the Homeboys, shared stories of a childhood surrounded by parents who were addicts and by violence and gangs as a way of life. The welcoming and loving outreach by Fr. Greg, which they often rejected, finally brought them home to themselves as worthwhile human beings “loved by God exactly as they are.” This was the impetus to change for them. Fr. Greg spoke of countless others whom Homeboys Industries has helped turn their lives around. He encouraged us in these troubled times to remember that, “No one stands outside the circle of compassion. We stand with those whose dignity has been denied; occasionally with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We stand with the disposable so that we remember that we belong to each other.”
Salvadoran Enterprises for Women is deeply grateful to Fr. Greg, Jose and David for freely offering this speaking benefit for SEW and to Fr. Stephen Planning, SJ for the use of Gonzaga High School for this event.