Recently I stumbled across the excellent news that Father Edward Flanagan, the founder Boys Town, will be declared a “Servant of God” next month as the Archdiocese of Omaha opens his cause for beatification.
From CNA/EWTN News:
He was born July 13, 1886 in County Roscommon, Ireland. He traveled to the U.S. in 1904. He was ordained a priest in 1912 and assigned to what was then the Diocese of Omaha.
After a period of working with homeless men in Omaha, he founded a boarding house for all boys, regardless of their race or religion. He soon moved his work to Overlook Farm on the outskirts of Omaha, where he cared for hundreds of boys.
The home became known as the Village of Boys Town, growing to include a school, dormitories and administration buildings. The boys elected their own government to run the community, which became an official village in the state of Nebraska in 1936.
Fr. Flanagan had that great line, “There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.”
Here are a couple good quotes from the story on CNA…
Fr. Steven Boes, national executive director of Boys Town: “Though the process will be investigating proven miracles associated with Fr. Flanagan, we know that miracles occurred every day in his work to heal children in mind, body and spirit. These everyday miracles still occur as Boys Town continues Flanagan’s work by saving children and healing families today.”
Dcn. Tim McNeil, archdiocesan chancellor: “If he could live a holy and exemplary life in Omaha, why can’t we all?”