Gregory Boyle initially worked in a church in Bolivia, where he learnt to both speak Spanish and help the poor. He believed he found his calling: to help raise those who were crushed under society and become the best versions of themselves. When Greg finished working in Bolivia, he was placed I the poorest part of Los Angeles, which is where most of the plot in the book takes place.
Boyle continued working as a catholic preacher in the Dolores Mission Church, and he noticed that there was an extensive amount of gang violence in the community and that it was taking its toll on the society. Teenager and kids alike were being killed of as animals, and people treated each other with hate and rage instead of love and open arms. He knew something had to be done.
Changing the rules and ways of the church made a big difference in the community. Greg made school programs for those without education, gang members and children, as well as psychiatric counseling and employment. He helped various young people get out of the ditch of poverty they were in, saving them for the future. He also buried the dead in the city, burying over a hundred people, including children.
Boyle continued his work, showing people love and brotherhood no matter where they were in life. Instead of being afraid or disgusted, he treated them with respect and kinship, which lead people to trust him. It is obvious at the ending of the book, how big a difference Gregory’s life made on the community, though he doesn’t label it a success, as he is only doing what he was placed to do on earth by God.