Common Reading eXperience

Each year, all incoming undergraduate students at Xavier read a common book before coming to campus and then write an essay related to that book. During the Manresa student orientation in August, students then discuss their reactions to the book with Xavier faculty, who will have read the writing assignments submitted electronically.

For 2014, the book will be Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle, S. J. ISBN 1439153159.


About the book:
For twenty years, Gregory Boyle of the Society of Jesus has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, the gang capital of the world. In Tattoos on the Heart, he distills his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith.

See the LibGuide for more about the book.

About Homeboy Industries:
"Homeboy Industries serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with a continuum of free services and programs, and operates seven social enterprises that serve as job-training sites."
What began with a jobs program in 1988 led to a bakery and now to "one of the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry programs in the country." Its model has inspired dozens of similar programs across the country and beyond. 

We are especially excited this year to announce that the author of the CRE book and founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Father Gregory Boyle, will be visiting Xavier University on October 2, 2014.

Faculty from all three colleges are warmly invited to engage the incoming students by serving as discussion group leaders on the afternoon of Friday, August 22, 2014. All group leaders may receive a printed copy of the book.


To register as a discussion group leader, please use the following form.

All discussion group leaders are strongly encouraged to attend one of the training sessions:

Monday, April 14, 2 - 3 pm (CLC 207) or

Tuesday, April 22, 3 - 4 pm (CLC 309)



We intend to record a series of brief video segments with faculty speaking about the book's intersection with their own academic disciplines, to be made available on Road to Xavier in the weeks before students arrive on campus.

We hope to have representation from across the entire university.