Monsignor Nicholas Wegner worked quietly during his tenure to ensure that Father Flanagan's dream would extend well into the 21st Century. His pioneering efforts resulted in, among many things, the creation of the Boys Town National Research Hospital. Under Wegner's watchful care, Boys Town doubled in population, expanded educational, vocational, athletic, and arts opportunities for its residents, found a solid financial footing, and spread its ideas on youth care around the globe.
Monsignor Wegner was born in 1898, the eleventh of 12 children in a Humphrey, Nebraska, farm family. An outstanding baseball player in his youth, he received several offers from Major League Baseball teams. He turned down the offers to pursue his calling to become a priest, pitching for small farm teams to earn his way through seminary. After studying in Rome, he was ordained on March 7, 1925. Returning to Omaha he would become the Chancellor to the Omaha Diocese. Following Father Flanagan’s death, Monsignor Wegner was appointed the director of Boys Town on September 15, 1948. Under his leadership the population of the Home grew to more than 900 students. After 25 years of service Monsignor Wegner retired on September 15, 1973. He passed away on March 18, 1976, and is buried in Omaha.
“In the administration of Boys Town I will try in every way possible to follow in the footsteps of its founder. And while I look with a great deal of fear and trepidation to the task that lies before me, I feel that with the help and the cooperation of the very able staff of Boys Town and the help of God and the prayer of our friends, the good work so ably begun by Father Flanagan and carried to such glorious heights will continue to prosper and meet with success.” -Msgr. Wegner
Read more about Monsignor Wegner’s life and legacy in “ The Mission Continues: Monsignor Nicholas Wegner of Boys Town.”
(Courtesy of Boys Town website)