The gang-infested ghettos of Los Angeles are so far from suburban Westchester County that it’s difficult to imagine what it’s like. Jesuit priest Gregory Boyle has gathered anecdotes and insights from nearly 30 years of working with gang members in Tattoos on the Heart: the Power of Boundless Compassion (261.8 B). Founder and director of the biggest gang-intervention program in the country, Homeboy Industries, he distills his experiences into a series of parables inspired by faith. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JCPenney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From ten-year-old Lula we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Pedro we understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the darkness. Of course, not every encounter was successful; still, I found these stories very moving and humbling.

~Carol Jensen, Church Librarian