Tattoos on the Heart

Tattoos on the Heart Characters

Father Gregory Boyle

Father Gregory Boyle is the narrator and protagonist of Tattoos on the Heart. For more than thirty years, he has lived in Los Angeles, preaching from his church in the Dolores Mission and running… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Danny
An eighteen-year-old kid, the first of many whom Father Gregory Boyle buries during his time in Los Angeles.
Ray Stark
Famous Hollywood agent who funds Father Gregory Boyle’s nonprofit work.
Luis
Former drug dealer who works as a foreman at Homeboy Industries.
Julian of Norwich
English mystic who influenced Father Gregory Boyle’s thinking.
Lula
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Bill Cain
Friend and “spiritual director” to Father Gregory Boyle.
Mike Wallace
Famous news anchor who interviews Father Gregory Boyle and visits his church in Los Angeles.
Willy
Young man who asks Father Gregory Boyle for money.
Rigo
Impoverished child of an abusive drug addict.
Cesar
One of Father Gregory Boyle’s employees at Homeboy Industries.
Scrappy
Aggressive man who later works for Father Gregory Boyle.
Carmen
Heroin addict and prostitute.
Napoleón Gonzalez
Young gang member who doesn’t want to use his real name around Father Gregory Boyle.
Cricket / William
Young gang member who begins to open up to Father Gregory Boyle when Boyle uses his real name.
Speedy
Young gang member who risks his life walking through rival gang territory.
Yolanda
Pious woman who tells Speedy she cares about him.
Betito
Young, lively kid who’s killed in a fight between gang members.
Petra Saldana
One of Father Gregory Boyle’s congregants, who insists that Boyle leave a piece of insulting, racist graffiti that appeared on the church.
Looney
Gang member who admits to Father Gregory Boyle that he wants to have a life.
Anthony
Drug dealer who becomes a mechanic.
Dennis
Mechanic friend to Father Gregory Boyle.
Matteo
Los Angeles native who grew up going to Father Gregory Boyle’s church.
Julian
Los Angeles native who grew up going to Father Gregory Boyle’s church.
Memo
Former student of Father Gregory Boyle who goes on a lecture tour with him.
Miguel
Former student of Father Gregory Boyle who goes on a lecture tour with him.
Cisco Martinez
Young man who’s murdered in a gang fight.
George Martinez
Brother of Cisco Martinez.
Terry
Young woman who, Father Gregory Boyle realizes, thinks that she’s going to die soon.
Natalie Urritia
Employee of Father Gregory Boyle and mother of two children.
Andres
Teenager who forgives his mother for abusing him for years.
Jason
An employee of Homeboy Industries.
Fabian
A former employee of Homeboy Industries who now has a wife and three kids.
Felipe
Employee of Homeboy Industries, who comes from a gang that is the rival of Fabian’s former gang, and who later accompanies Father Gregory Boyle on his trip to Washington, D.C.
Elias Montes
Teenager who accepts an award on Father Gregory Boyle’s behalf.
Omar
Teenager who asks Father Gregory Boyle when the gang violence will end.
David
Teenager who practices his vocabulary with Father Gregory Boyle.
Grumpy
Aggressive gang member whose tattoos Father Gregory Boyle removes.
Psycho
Gang member who’s murdered, and supposedly dreams about his own death beforehand.
Carlos
Friend of Psycho.
Leo
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries
Joey
Former gang member who takes a job at Chuck E. Cheese.
Bugsy
Former gang member who asks Father Gregory Boyle to buy him shoes.
Bear
One of the two gang members responsible for accidentally injuring a woman.
Johnny
One of the two gang members responsible for accidentally injuring a woman (who turns out to be Johnny’s own mother).
Junior
Local resident who drinks heavily.
Flaco
Drug dealer who miraculously survives a car crash.
Chepe
Local ex-gang member who drives out of town with Father Gregory Boyle.
Richie
Local ex-gang member who drives out of town with Father Gregory Boyle.
Beto
Mexican prisoner who prepares a delicious stew.
Clever
Employee of Homeboy Silkscreen
Travieso
An old rival of Clever’s.
Lupe
Elderly woman who mentions an image of the Virgin Mary appearing on a tortilla.
Moreno
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Olivier
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Frankie
Young ex-gang member who smells Mario’s chest.
Mario
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Rickie
Gang member and the brother of Jacob and Adam.
Jacob
Young brother of Adam and Rickie, who’s killed in a turf war.
Adam
Gang member and the brother of Rickie and Jacob.
Mother Teresa
Famous missionary and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who influenced the religious thinking of Father Gregory Boyle.
Freddy
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
La Shady
Young woman who loses her partner in a gang shootout.
Ronnie
Ex-gang member who’s murdered shortly before he leaves to join the Marines.
Soledad
Mother of Ronnie.
Louie
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Lencho
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Richard
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Laura Bush
First Lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009.
Fili
An employee of Father Gregory Boyle
Spider
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Israel
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Tony
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries.
Manny
Ex-gang member who’s shot and killed.
Bandit
Young ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries
Alex
Ex-gang member who accompanies Father Gregory Boyle on his trip to Washington, D.C.
Charlie
Ex-gang member who accompanies Father Gregory Boyle on his trip to Washington, D.C.
Chico
Ex-gang member who works for Homeboy Industries and who’s shot and killed.
Artie
A former gang member who at first refuses to engage with former members of other gangs. But humor breaks down the wall between him and a former rival gang memberArtie, and the two become great friends.
Marcos
A gang member who impresses Boyle by his joy and love for his son.
Pedro
A former gang member who recovered from a drug addiction. After he recovered his brother died, but he didn't allow his pain to cause push him back into addiction.