By now, many have heard of Father Gregory Boyle, the Jesuit priest who founded Homeboy Industries to create opportunities for gang members in Los Angeles to leave their lives of violence and to start doing something life-giving. I blogged about his excellent book Tattoos on the Heart in September and included it as one of my favorite books of the year last week. The work he has done to transform the lives of so many in LA is truly inspiring.
Unfortunately, LA isn’t the only place where gangs are rampant, and Father Gregory can’t be everywhere at once. The good news is that he apparently has a kindred spirit in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. He’s Father Antonio Lopez Tercero, or “Padre Toño”, and his parish happens to be one of the most violent neighborhoods in a terribly violent city. While he hasn’t quite matched Father Gregory in entrepreneurial terms, it seems that his ministry is one of the few things holding that neighborhood together and pointing young men to a better way.
Al Jazeera English’s Witness program featured Father Anthony on this recent episode.
If you’re a praying person, please say a prayer for Father Anthony and those he serves in San Salvador. And pray that many more will follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace, into the hard places as instruments of shalom.
[Photo credit: yoni via Photobucket.com]