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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Boys Town was founded in 1917 by Father Edward J. Flanagan, a young, idealistic Irish-American priest. From the beginning, Father Flanagan was driven by his deep and abiding faith to save young homeless boys from the grim fate they typically faced more than a century ago.

Today, Father Flanagan’s spirit and spirituality still flow through Boys Town’s many campuses. And although Boys Town is not a religious institution, Father Flanagan’s faith-driven vision still guides us.


Help lost children find faith and their God-given potential.

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Faith…of All Kinds

Father Flanagan was a progressive and forward-thinking man, especially for the time in which he lived. He believed that all children deserved a loving home and a chance to succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances. He also believed a key element in helping children succeed was having them practice their faith and pray, although how they did that was up to them.

Today, as it has through more than 100 years of service, Boys Town accepts and cares for boys and girls of all faiths…and those of no faith.


The basic tenet of most faiths is love. Loving others is critical because we’re all in this together. Sadly, many youth who come to Boys Town haven’t experienced love, so it must be taught and practiced. Self-compassion and love of self are important, too. Taking care of one’s physical, mental and spiritual needs is critical to dealing with and overcoming life’s many obstacles.

Sharing a Spiritual Guide

Father Steven Boes, Boys Town’s current President and National Exe​cutive Director and the spiritual guide for our kids and families, shares how they and others can nurture and grow their spiritual lives through his reflections and writings on various topics. We hope these provide you with some practical insights, strength and hope on whatever spiritual path you have chosen.

There is Hope in a Pandemic of Hopelessness

At a recent fundraiser that I attended, I was asked, “What is the number one problem facing Boys Town?" I responded that the main problem we face is the same issue that most kids in America are facing. Read More

The Most Important Lesson

At Boys Town, we teach the importance of good health and wellness in body, mind and spirit. We teach both social skills and parenting skills, but the most important thing we teach is LOVE. Read More

Being Called into the Wilderness

It is the season formally known as Advent. During this time of year, we are told in the book of Matthew, that we are called to enter and acknowledge the wilderness of our own sin and that of the world, in preparation for Christmas. Read More

The Gift of HOPE

One of the major tenants of Alcoholics Anonymous is that addicts must hit "rock bottom" to recover. Read More

Back-to-School: Accept, Adapt and Grow

It's back-to-school time at Boys Town and across America. Every year, the beginning of the school year reminds me of the importance of learning to accept, adapt and grow – not only in school, but in life. Read More

Stand with Boys Town and #TeachLove

This simple but profound statement was made a century ago by Father Edward Flanagan, founder of Boys Town. From its inception, Boys Town welcomed every child regardless of race, religion or creed. Read More