After already being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House by President Joe Biden on May 3, Father Greg Boyle — the founder and director of Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries — received another honor: the Los Angeles City Council named May 19 as Father Greg Boyle Day. May 19 is also Boyle’s birthday.

During its meeting on May 17, the council recognized Boyle for his decades of community work and for helping to transform thousands of lives.

“For decades, Father Boyle has committed his life to serving others in Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez. “Whether it was door-knocking in the Pico-Aliso projects, marching alongside the señoras of the Boyle Heights community, building a place for refuge for immigrants seeking a safe place to sleep, Father Boyle has been dedicated to the cause of uplifting those who are often left behind in our society.”

“Everything that happens here in Los Angeles is heard and seen throughout the entire world,” said Capri Maddox, executive  director of LA Civil Rights. “We are the City of Angels, angels are our messengers. Whether it’s entertainment, government, or social justice, what we do here matters. That really sends a message of what’s right or wrong in the world. Today, we are highlighting one of our angels. It’s great for the world to see.”

In reading the proclamation, a small crowd clad in shirts emblazoned with the Homeboy Industries logo spoke at the dais one by one. Then Boyle came up to speak.

“It’s the privilege of my life to know the thousands of men and women who have come through our doors at Homeboy. The day won’t ever come when I have more courage or more nobility or dignity than all those people who have walked through our doors since 1988.

“This is the invitation of every single person here and every elected official to imagine something wildly different than the divisions that plague us.”

After presenting Boyle with the framed proclamation, the audience sang “Happy Birthday” to him and ended with a Homeboy Industries saying, “And I’m glad you were born.”

A native to Los Angeles, Father Boyle entered the Society of Jesus in 1972 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church from 1986 to 1992, where he began a job-training program for at-risk youth that would eventually become Homeboy Industries.

He’s also written several books, including his memoir about Homeboy Industries, “Tattoos On the Heart.” His next book is scheduled to be released in October, titled, “Cherished Belonging: The Healing Power of Love in Divided Times.”

Boyle was one of 19 people awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to “individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public, or private endeavors.”

“It is an honor to recognize you here today and for being a reminder of the importance of championing this work,” Hernandez said. “Your impact will be felt for generations to come.”