Boys Town honors archdiocesan priest
Father James Novotny, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Lindsay, was honored by Boys Town Sept. 27 with the Spirit of Father Flanagan Award for his dedication to the education of children and families.
Father Steven Boes, executive director of Boys Town, presented the award to Father Novotny at Boys Town’s annual Priests’ Dinner.
In addition to serving as associate pastor or pastor of eight parishes in Omaha, Norfolk, Pierce, Emerson, Pender and St. Edward, as well as Holy Family in Lindsay, Father Novotny taught at the former Ryan Catholic High School in Omaha, at Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in Bellevue and Norfolk Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Norfolk. He has coached basketball, baseball and track.
Father Novotny also has been a leader in the Boy Scouts for 45 years and was archdiocesan chaplain for the Scouts from 1971 to 1992. As an assistant scoutmaster and scoutmaster he helped with High Adventure camping trips to Alaska, Virginia and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota. His troops produced several Eagle Scouts, including Greg Schleppenbach, now associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities in Washington, D.C.
Father Novotny helped bring the Teens Encounter Christ program (TEC) to the rural archdiocese in 1982, and annually gives a talk at a TEC weekend. He also has accompanied youth groups on mission trips to Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver and St. Louis.