Address: 6116 Dodge St, Omaha, NE 68132
The sturdy Indiana limestone building with a beckoning English Gothic tower is the focal point of the 6.5 park-like acres alongside busy Dodge Street just west of Midtown Omaha. Although the church plans were drawn by prominent architect Leo A. Daly (see more below), Monsignor Joseph Suneg (1897-1989) was the orchestrator of the design of the church and surrounding landscape – and his vision was realized with the June 14, 1942 dedication of the church. The church houses sacred statuary and windows designed by world class artists, as well as artwork created by Msgr. Suneg himself. The peaceful interior is imbued with hues of candlelight and rich oak woodwork beneath the arch-lined ceiling over the nave. The sanctuary is adorned with the heartfelt beauty of an altar table carved by Msgr. Suneg in front of the high altar bearing a Crucifixion scene also carved by Msgr. Suneg. The mural above the sanctuary is modeled from another work titled “The Prophets” by John Singer Sargent in the Boston Public Library. The transepts are places of contemplation for the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, in addition to a chapel built in the 1960’s housing additional artwork. The patroness, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, is commemorated with a statue at the front of the nave, as well as in the middle window in the choir loft. A First Class Relic of the patroness is displayed beneath her statue for veneration. In addition to the special-ness of the architecture and artwork, the building and grounds exude a sense of the serenity of the love and mercy of the Sacred Heart, as extolled by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
Special things to see at the Church
• The luminescent stained glass windows on either end of the church were designed by Connick Studios of Boston (founded by the famous glass artist Charles J. Connick). Above the sanctuary is a large rose window with Mary, Queen of Angels at the center of smaller images of angels, along with the Tower of Ivory and Gate of Heaven. On the façade of the church is a triptych of windows with St. Margaret Mary flanked by St. Ambrose and St. Jerome – surrounded by medallions of the apostles.
• Beneath the statue of St. Margaret Mary, is a gold-faced reliquary enclosing some ashes of the patroness saint. The First Class Relic is surrounded by crown of thorns exemplifying the saint’s suffering in life as a result of illness; as well as the disbelief of her disclosures of the apparitions she experienced related to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
• Stations of the Cross line the church walls. All are of carved oak, except for the Twelfth Station (Jesus Dies on the Cross) that is made from chestnut wood. The Twelfth Station was made by the winner of an Italian competition by an artist from Ortisei, Italy and was Msgr. Suneg’s favorite.
• Outside is a prayer garden which includes a bronze life-size statue of St. Margaret Mary along other bronzes depicting the Stations of the Cross.
Interesting Facts About the Church
The architect of the church was Leo A. Daly, a planner of many churches in Nebraska and Iowa, whose architectural firm has grown to worldwide prominence today. Daly’s firm was behind the design and planning of the Boys Town complex in Omaha in the 1920’s, as well as several buildings on the Creighton University campus and Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha.