Back in the late 90s I went to Dowd Memorial Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on Boys Town campus quite a bit, I worked nearby, and I went on Holy Days and when I worked on weekends. I hadn't forgotten how beautiful the church was, but I did forgot how crowded it Mass is there. Yes! Standing room only, the way it should be, like people crowding around Jesus, Lazarus climbing the tree, the woman yearning to only touch his cloak to be healed. We all should be clamoring to see Jesus all the time.
Father started the homily with "Don't be a grump at Christmas." Father illustrated the story with examples and practical advice. Boys Town sees its fair share of tragic stories, but it also sees a few miracles. I'd like to further what Father said, nothing has changed my life for the better than this; a good attitude. I'm not certain that my life situation is better than it was ten years ago, but I can tell you this, I am so much happier.
Location and Architecture:
The Dowd Memorial Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, on the campus of Boys Town, is a traditional church, with the kind of design touches that I like so much. It is not unlike Saint Margaret Mary in design, but with an airier feel to it, like Saint Joseph, but smaller than both. The feel is both light and intimate. The majesty of God is reflected in the details in stone, glass, woodwork, and the organ. When walking in the main entrance, if one turns immediately to the right, there is an alcove with the tomb of Father Flannagan, where you can pray or read about his life. Alone, the church is worth a visit to see it's beauty, but given the history and importance of Boys Town, it's as much of a must visit as there is in the Omaha area.
You can see all the pictures from our Advent Mass Chaos tour right here.
"John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” ” John 1:26-27
He is amongst you, but you do not recognize him. This declaration is straight forward and, given who John the Baptist was speaking to, not a really good option politically. God is unlikely to be interested in human politicking, He's more interested in His children being with Him forever, and John the Baptist was sent to declare His coming. John is speaking to the Pharisees here, they were expecting the Savior to look in a certain way. They were even willing to stretch enough to ask John if he were the one, even John lived in the desert and had strange clothing. Even with their willingness to make this stretch, John is clear, He's here, you aren't getting it.
We too are confronted by John's words. Make no mistake my friends, Jesus is here and available to us. He is present in Eucharist, He is listening when we confess our sins, He is there in the faces of everyone we meet. One of our biggest challenges as Christians is to recognize Jesus when we see Him. Merely stretching our concepts of who our Savior is may not be enough, we have to be ready to seek Him with our whole being if necessary. We are told if we seek, we will find, I pray we will recognize Him when we encounter Him.
Sat, Dec 17 @ 10:00am - Holy Family Shrine - 23132 Pflug Road, Gretna
Sun, Dec 18 @ 10:30am - Saint Philip Neri - 8200 North 30th Street, Omaha