July 2019

 The Neuroscience Behind Flourishing at Homeboy Industries

Fr. Frank Buckley

Fr. Frank Buckley, SJ is a Jesuit priest and clinical psychologist. He completed his pre
and post doc fellowship in the counseling center (CAPS) at University of San Francisco.
The theme of his doctoral dissertation is “Flourishing on a Jesuit campus” – a topic that
he remains very passionate about to this day.  His interest in mindfulness, meditation,
contemplation, and Eastern spirituality has taken him to Jesuit communities in Nepal,
Thailand, India, and Tibet.

His interests focus on neuroscience, Ignatian spirituality, addiction. During his first year
after ordination, he worked as the drug/ alcohol case manager for MSC South, the
largest homeless shelter in San Francisco. He also assisted with masses at St. Agnes,
the Jesuit parish in the Haight-Ashbury district. Following this, he helped initiate the St.
Vincent de Paul’s Wellness Center in San Francisco, a program focused on an
integrated approach to addiction and mental illness through a wellness model.
Fr. Frank is currently a clinical psychologist at Homeboy Industries. Homeboy Industries

is the largest gang prevention program in the world. The mission of Homeboy Industries
is to provide hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously
incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become
contributing members of our community. Fr. Frank loves to share his work of integrating
the neuroscience by prioritizing safety and social engagement to experience well-being
in our everyday normal lives.

Event Timeslots (1)

Research in neuroscience is just now catching up with Fr. Greg's 40 years of highlighting the importance of kinship/ community and transformation. At Homeboy Industries, we use the most current research in neuroscience to give the trainees an experience of flourishing during their 18-month training period at Homeboy Industries. Research shows as humans we gravitate to the negative in terms of how we think and because our brains are wired this way; psychologists call it a negativity bias. The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones. At Homeboys, we know that looking on the bright side can improve relationships, boost job performance, and even increase your lifespan! Research shows that people who are more optimistic and see things in a positive light tend to have: better physical health, boosted immune function, more success in their careers, healthier financial habits, greater relational satisfaction, and decreased risk of mortality. All of this can be yours by adopting an optimistic mindset. Our presentation will be experiential with different staff from Homeboys introducing the following experiences for a healthy brain including-- an explanation of polyvagal tone with Fr. Mark, polyvagal exercises and yoga with Fr. Frank, and exercise with Ricky Franco. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to flourish the Homeboy Way!!!