Happy Birthday, Boys Town!

Boys Town is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, so we bring a small offering to the party.  If you don’t already know the story of Father Edward J. Flanagan and Boys Town, you really should.  The Boys Town website has a timeline that highlights a century of helping boys and girls.  It also tells the story better than I could, so I’ll just add to it with a few Creighton-related points.

Point 1: Father Flanagan sometimes made the short trip from the Boys Town campus – at the time west of Omaha, but the city has since grown to surround it – to visit Creighton University.

INFO FROM SLEEVE: Flanagan, Edward J. LLD '41INFO, BACK OF PHOTO:"Msgm E.J. Flanagan [/] 1941 comm. speaker [/] Fr. G.H. Fitzgibbons, Arts dean and Dr. C.M. Wilhelisy, Med. dean in b.ground"OTHER AFFILIATED INFO:

The photo above shows Monsignor Flanagan giving the commencement address in May 1941, while the one below likely is of his sermon – reported and quoted in the October 6, 1944, Creightonian – at the baccalaureate Mass in September 1944. (Anyone care to guess why a baccalaureate was held in September?)

INFO FROM SLEEVE: Flanagan, Edward J. LLD '41 INFO, BACK OF PHOTO: "Msgr. Ed. J. Flanagan [/] Baccal. Address [/] Sept. 1944 Comm." OTHER AFFILIATED INFO:
Point 2: The Boys Town National Research Hospital opened its doors in 1977 adjacent to Creighton’s St. Joseph Hospital, just a stone’s throw* from our campus.  Even though the Creighton hospital no longer is next door, the Boys Town presence is still present and still open on 30th Street.

aerial1983BoysTown
That’s the Boys Town facility on the right, as indicated by the red arrow, in the early 1980s.

Point 3: The Father Flanagan League Society of Devotion has been pushing for sainthood for the priest who helped so many.  They have already presented their case to the Vatican, and that case includes a biography written by Creighton University’s Dr. Heather Fryer, the current holder of the Fr. Henry W. Casper, SJ, Professorship in History (and a favorite professor of many of us connected with Creighton’s Attic).  Dr. Fryer was asked to serve on the “Historical Commission for the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Father Edward J. Flanagan,” and she did the major work of chronicling the life of Father Flanagan.  The biography she wrote is now in the hands of the appropriate people at the Vatican.  You can read more about Dr. Fryer’s contribution here,

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* Please note that “stone’s throw” is meant to imply a close distance.  Please do NOT throw stones across the highway from campus to the Boys Town facility

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