I Can Hardly Believe This Happened


So I’m an external processor.

I mean, you probably know this about me. I do blog five times a week. But beyond that, I live for the rhythms that allow me to reflect in words with others. Given my calling, I am privileged to receive the reflections of a large number of people on a regular basis. And I too, love speaking my own.

Well, two days ago, I found myself wanting to process some things that have been on my mind and heart. Over these last few months, been pondering my own sense of calling and all the gifts it has given me over these last twelve years. Throughout the ups and downs and winding roads of it, I marvel at the sense of community that has been built over time. These days, I feel a desire to rededicate myself to that calling and larger community vision.

In the midst of pondering these things earlier this week, I had so many thoughts and questions. Then I suddenly thought of Father Greg Boyle and said inwardly, “I wish I could talk with him about all of these things.”

Greg Boyle is the founder and spiritual leader of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, an organization that provides healing, hope, jobs, and economic opportunity for people who were recently incarcerated or have left gangs. He is also the author of Tattoos on the Heart, my very favorite book. In that book, Greg Boyle tells the stories behind the community at Homeboy Industries, reflecting theologically as he invites us into a spiritual practice of kinship and deep belonging.

I have admired Father Greg and the entire community at Homeboy Industries for years. When I lived in Southern California, I met him briefly once, and twice, I sat through the daily Morning Meeting at Homeboy Industries. This is a really moving daily practice where the whole community begins the morning together with laughter, celebration, and a “Word of the Day” meditation.

In addition to the general admiration I’ve had for Father Greg all these years, on Monday, I found myself actually wanting to talk to him, because I knew he was the perfect person to understand some of my reflections, questions, life directions, and stories.

So. . . perhaps because I needed to externally process something, I created a post on Facebook.

I shared a photo of a cup of coffee and wrote,

If you could sit down with anyone, dead or living, to receive some life advice, maybe over coffee or tea, who would you choose?

I have so many questions right now for Fr. Greg Boyle.


And here’s what I can hardly believe: In less than a minute — less. than. a. minute. — a friend of mine told me that a relative of hers is married to a relative of his, and that she could actually put me in touch to have a conversation with him.

Then later in the day, another person told me that her own good friend and colleague is also a very close personal friend of Father Greg. She could also put me in touch with him.

So. . . at some point in the next month, I think I’m actually going to try to make some plans to talk to Father Greg Boyle about my own calling pathway.

And I can hardly believe this has happened!

Renee Roederer


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