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Monday, March 1, 2010

Group pushes for Boys Town founder's canonization

Father Edward Flanagan, who founded Boys Town in Omaha, Neb., in 1917 and was immortalized on the big screen in the 1938 Spencer Tracy film about the home for children, was a saint in the eyes of many. And now a group of admirers want to make that designation official.

The Irish priest was born in 1886 and came to the United States in 1904. After completing bachelor's and master's degrees at Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland, he entered St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie, N.Y. He was ordained in 1912 and moved to Nebraska, first serving in O'Neill, then in Omaha.

The Father Flanagan League was profiled in a recent report on Omaha television station KETV. The group is dedicated to spreading devotion to Father Flanagan and providing information about his sanctity to the Church.

“Each boy that he met, he could see the possibilities in that child,” his biographer, Father Clifford Stevens, told the news station. “He was a pioneer in ecumenism before he even knew the word. He was the first priest to begin work with Jews and Protestants on social issues.”

Click HERE to read more about their efforts.

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