Boys Town Founder Named "Servant of God"

Share Article

Boys Town founder, Father Edward Flanagan, was officially named Servant of God at a special mass celebrated on Saturday.

"Father Flanagan did not bein his work with homeless boys. He first started with a ministry to homeless men and the children came to him and he could not turn them away."

Boys Town founder, Father Edward Flanagan, was officially named Servant of God at a special mass celebrated this morning at Immaculate Conception church on the Boys Town campus. By giving Fr. Flanagan this title, the process has begun toward sainthood by the Omaha Archdiocese. The Most Rev. George Lucas, archbishop of Omaha celebrated the Mass today with Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director.

Lucas told thousands of community members that he “requested the trial of beatification and canonization to ascertain the holy life, the heroic virtues, the reputation of sanctity, and miracles of Servant of God Father Edward J. Flanagan.”

“Father Flanagan did not begin his work with homeless boys,” Boes said in his homily. “He first started with a ministry to homeless men and the children came to him and he could not turn them away.” He also said that when he talks to people about this special day they respond by saying, “I thought he was already a Saint!”

Part of the ritual by Lucas was to introduce tribunal members responsible for reviewing Flanagan and administer their oath. Lucas asked that all the people who accepted their duties declare themselves “ready to establish and accomplish the tasks of this diocesan trial of the life, virtues and reputation of sanctity of the Servant of God, Father Edward J. Flanagan.”

Flanagan founded Boys Town in 1917 in a rundown Victorian mansion in downtown Omaha, NE. The boys’ home moved to its current location four years later. Flanagan accepted boys of every race, color and creed. He believed, as he is often quoted as saying, “there are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example and bad thinking.” Flanagan became an acknowledged expert in the field of child care and traveled throughout the United States and the world discussing his views on juvenile delinquency. During a tour in Germany he became ill and died of a heart attack in 1948. His legacy lives on today at Boys Town in Omaha and sites all across the country.

About Boys Town
Boys Town is a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs across the United States. Now more than 90 years strong, Boys Town’s Continuum of Child and Family Services aims to provide the right services at the right time based on a child’s or family’s needs. In 2011, Boys Town’s integrated continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s traditional programs as well as those served by the many varied programs which comprise the Boys Town Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kara Neuverth
Father Flanagan's Boy's Home
402-498-1305
Email >
Visit website