“The work will continue, you see, whether I am there or not, because it is God’s work, not mine.”


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  • 1886

    July 13 - HIS BIRTH

    Ruins of the Flanagan homestead in Leabeg, Ballymoe, Ireland

  • 1886

    Baptized St. Croans
    Parish, Ballymoe

    Edward J. Flanagan was one of 11 children of John and Nora Flanagan, a hard working farm family. Perhaps due to illness at birth, he was frail and struggled with illness throughout his entire life.

  • 1904

    Completed secondary
    school at summerhill
    college, county sligo.

  • 1904

    arrives in america

    In 1904, he arrived in New York City and in 1907 moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to live with his brother, Fr. P.A. Flanagan, so his sister Nellie could nurse her younger brother back to health. In 1912, when he was well enough to finish his seminary studies, Fr. Flanagan was ordained in Innsbruck, Austria.

  • 1906-1907

    Graduation & Move to Omaha

    1906 – Graduated Mount St. Mary’s College with an A.B. degree

    1907 – Arrived in Omaha, Nebraska

  • 1912


    July 26, 1912 – Ordained in the Brixon Diocese, in Saint Ignatius Church Innsbruck, Austria. First Mass, St. Ignatius Church in Innsbruck.

    August 25, 1912 – Celebrates first Solemn High Mass at Holy Angels, Omaha, Nebraska

  • 1913

    First Parish

    March 15, 1913 – First Parish Assignment, St. Patrick’s Church, O’Neill, Nebraska

  • 1916

    Established Workingman’s Hotel, Omaha

  • 1917

    first home for boys
    in omaha, nebraska

    On December 12, 1917, Servant of God Edward J. Flanagan moved five boys, ages eight to ten, into his first home for boys in Omaha, Nebraska, where he would spend much of the rest of the 31 years of his life. In 1938 the film Boys Town premiered and “Fr. Flanagan” became a household name and his mission grew.

  • 1921

    Overlook Farm

    October 17, 1921 – Moved to Overlook Farm, Present day Boys Town, NE

  • 1938

    The Film "Boys Town"

    September 7,1938 – The film, Boys Town premieres; In 1939, Spencer Tracy wins academy award (Oscar) for Best Actor playing Father Flanagan.

  • 1946


    He visited his beloved Ireland for the last time, touring prisons, industrial schools for youth, and youth care facilities operated by government and religious orders. He condemned them as a “disgrace to the nation,” and offered a solution only to be ridiculed by the government and some religious.

  • 1947

    April 19, 1947 – Arrives in Philippines

    April 24, 1947 – Arrives in Japan

    May 29, 1947 – Arrives in Korea

  • 1948


    Flanagan wished to return to Ireland to help reform youth care facilities. However, he passed away two years later on May 15, 1948 in Berlin, Germany.