Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Local religious sites

Ahh, summer.

It’s a time for family outings and spending time outdoors. Of course you can always go swimming or visit a state park, but think about also making a trip to one of several religious sites in or around our listening area.

Spirit Catholic Radio, Omaha

If we’re going to have a list of Catholic destinations in our listening area, we must start with our own studios in Omaha. Located at 13326 A St., our studios are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stop by during business hours for a tour, meet our staff and pray in our beautiful chapel. Consider joining us for Mass on Fridays at 11:30 a.m. or participating in eucharistic adoration on Wednesdays.

Spirit Catholic Radios is the area’s only Catholic radio station heard across most of Nebraska, western Iowa and other parts of the Midwest.

You can listen to us at 102.7-FM in Omaha, Lincoln and Western Iowa; 91.5-FM in Central Nebraska; 88.3-FM in Northeast Nebraska; 90.1-FM in North Platte; 99.3-FM in Columbus and 89.3-FM in Chadron. 

Spiritcatholicradio.com, 402-571-0200, 855-571-0200 (toll free)

Holy Family Shrine, Gretna

The mission of the Holy Family Shrine, as a Catholic Chapel on the highway, is to be a gateway to heaven for pilgrims and travelers to experience the healing presence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit that awakens them to God’s will in their journey through life. 

Created in 2002, the shrine receives more than 20,000 visitors a year from all over the world.

The shrine is located at 23132 Pflug Road, between Omaha and Lincoln off I-80, exit 432-south on Hwy 31 (1.3 miles) west on Pflug Road (1 mile).

It includes a visitor center and gift shop, a 45-foot crucifix that overlooks the prairie and a chapel made of wooden beams and glass. Mass is held there every Saturday at 10 a.m., except on Holy Saturday.   

Visit holyfamilyshrineproject.com, where you can watch a virtual tour of the shrine.

Museum of Religious Arts, Logan, Iowa

The purpose of the Museum of Religious Arts is to preserve and exhibit religious arts, tradition and culture, fostering an appreciation of religious history for our enrichment and that of future generations. The Museum is housed in a 20,000-square foot building, giving ample room for numerous religious displays.

It includes artwork by Akaine Kramarik, who in 2005, was 11 when she created the paintings; life-size wax figures portraying nine Biblical scenes; Crosses on the Hill outdoor display; Holocaust artwork and a Jesus Walking on the Water sculpture.

Located at 2697 Niagara Trail in Logan, Iowa, it’s open on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit www.mrarts.org or call 712-644-3888

Trinity Heights, Sioux City, Iowa

Trinity Heights offers more than two dozen shrines, memorial garden spots and quiet corners for prayer and reflection amidst 14 acres of spacious walkways and soft green spaces. It sits on the spacious grounds of former Trinity College and high school.

Two statues anchor Trinity Heights on each end — the Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Peace and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A life-size carving of the Last Supper is located in St. Joseph's Center across from the Marian Center Gift Shop.

You will also enjoy shrines to the Blessed Virgin Mary and The Way of the Saints honoring 60 saints in the Catholic Church, the Outdoor Cathedral area leading to Jesus, and the Trinity Gardens adjacent to Mary Queen of Peace. Flowers, plantings, trees and birds create an ideal setting to stroll, pray and reflect.

People of all faiths visit Trinity Heights. It is Catholic in its theology and ecumenical in its intent and appeal.

Located at 33rd and Floyd Blvd in Sioux City, the shrine is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Trinityheights.com, 712-239-8670

Boys Town and Fr. Flanagan’s gravesite, Omaha

Boys Town, formerly Girls and Boys Town and Father Flanagan's Boys' Home, is a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for its children and families, with national headquarters in the village of Boys Town, Neb. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985.

The original Boys Town was founded as a boys' orphanage in 1917 by Fr. Edward J. Flanagan, a Roman Catholic priest working in Omaha whose sainthood cause is currently underway. The "City of Little Men" pioneered[3]development of new juvenile care methods in 20th century America, emphasizing social preparation as a model for public boys' homes worldwide.

Visitors to Boys Town can visit the Hall of History, Garden of the Bible and Fr. Flanagan’s home, as well as attend Mass at Dowd Memorial Chapel, which houses the Fr. Flanagan Shrine. Boys Town's famous founder is entombed in a bronze vault that briefly tells his life story to thousands of visitors every year.

Boys Town is located near 138th and Dodge in Omaha. Call 1-800-625-1400 for more information or to book a tour.

Grotto of Redemption, West Bend, Iowa

Located about 3 ½ hours from Omaha in Northwest Iowa, the Grotto of the Redemption is the largest man-made grotto in the world. It is comprised of nine separate grottos, each depicting a scene in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The theme of Redemption gives unity to this sacred space.

The Grotto of the Redemption is the inspiration and life work of the late Fr. Paul Dobberstein, a Catholic priest. For a decade, he gathered rocks and precious stones from around the world and began construction in 1912.  

The grotto was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2001.

To watch a virtual tour, visit www.westbendgrotto.com/Virtual_Tour.html or visit westbendgrotto.com.

300 N Broadway Ave., West Bend, IA, 515-887-2371

If you have suggestions that could be added to this list, please comment below! We'd love to hear from you!

Blogged by Lisa Maxson, senior writer/reporter.