It was a memorable St. Patrick’s Day in the Heartland as Boys Town founder, Father Edward Flanagan, was named a Servant of God.
The title was officially given on Saturday morning by the Omaha Archdiocese and is the first in several steps toward sainthood.
Father Flanagan's Great-Great-Niece, Katie was there to celebrate the announcement.
“It's a once in a lifetime opportiunity and we're just very excited.”
Father Flanagan dedicated his life to helping orphans and troubled teens at Boys Town. Under his direction, what was first an orphanage grew to be a large learning community for young men no matter what their background.
Linda Carney attends daily mass at Boys Town and says she’s happy to see the priest represent the Midwest.
“The canonization of Father Flanagan is just affirmation that the Catholic Church is alive and doing good for others,” says Carney.
As a Servant of God, church officials will conduct an investigation into Father Flanagan's life, a secret process that usually takes years.
Then to be declared a Saint, there must be two miracles associated with Father Flanagan that have been performed since his death. He died in 1948.
Steven Wolf, President of the Father Flanagan League Society of Devotion says Father Flanagan’s life serves as a model for our own.
“I think studying him is going to help us be better people,” says Wolf.
“Being better citizens in our community, better to reaching out to people in front of us, and helping to try and see the face of Christ in every person we encounter.”
Katie Flanagan is hoping her Great-Great-Uncle's new title can help Omaha in more ways than one.
“We want everyone to pray to Father Flanagan for miracles, such as Creighton taking the tournament,” she laughs.