Fr. John P. Foley, S.J.
Founder, Chair Emeritus and Chief Mission Officer of the Cristo Rey Network
A Chicago native, Father Foley entered the Society of Jesus in 1954. He earned a BA in Latin from Xavier University in Cincinnati and holds an MA in Sociology and a M.Ed. from Loyola University in Chicago. From 1961 to 1995 he served the Jesuit missions in Peru, working primarily in education. He served as President of two of Peru's Jesuit K-12 schools.
He returned to Chicago in 1995 to collaborate in establishing Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. He was named President of the school in 1996 and served for eight years. During his tenure, he oversaw the effort to establish the school, hiring of all personnel, student recruitment, and the construction of 150,000 square feet of classroom and recreation space. Father Foley raised more than $26 million during this eight-year term and left Cristo Rey Jesuit High School with a $2 million endowment. More importantly, he established the tradition and spirit of a school that has become a national model. In January of 2005, he assumed the presidency of the Cristo Rey Network of which he is presently Chair Emeritus.
For his efforts in pioneering a new model to prepare disadvantaged students for success in college and beyond, Fr. Foley has been profiled in national media outlets as well as the recipient of numerous awards. These include seven Honorary Doctorates, the National Catholic Education Association Seton Award, and the Presidential Citizens Medal from President George W. Bush.
Tattoos on the Heart
Fr. Greg Boyle's book, Tattoos on the Heart, is a series of parables about kinship and redemption. For twenty years, Father Gregory Boyle has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles—also known as the gang capital of the world. In Tattoos on the Heart, he has distilled his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith.
Fr. Boyle's book directly illustrates the Jesuit tradition of addressing urban issues and confronting urban problems by living among them.
In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Fr. Greg launched the first business: Homeboy Bakery with a mission to create an environment that provided training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The success of the Bakery created the groundwork for additional businesses, thus prompting JFF to become an independent non-profit organization, Homeboy Industries, in 2001. Today Homeboy Industries’ nonprofit economic development enterprises include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, and Homegirl Café.