A slice of heaven on earth

By Tom Quiner


“What is the Holy Family Shrine?” my wife and I wondered?

We were en route to a wedding in Lincoln, Nebraska. Somewhere between Omaha and Lincoln we saw a sign for the Shrine and could see it standing majestically off the interstate.

We made a mental note to leave time to stop on the way back. It was worth it.

943073_396176060494977_1435362406_nWhat a gem.

The Holy Family Shrine covers 23 acres of rural Nebraska just off of Interstate 80 near Gretna, Nebraska. The most prominent element is its stunning chapel built with glass, stone, and cedar. It was cold and windy on the day we visited. But in the chapel, it was quiet but for the sound of running water.

You see, the chapel is built over a pool of running water covered with a stone floor. The effect is one of pure peace.

The crucifix outdoors is riveting, especially on the day I was there with its harsh sky serving as a backdrop to our crucified Christ.

The visitor’s center was exquisite. The sculpture of the kneeling Christ at the 992848_396175957161654_2047491897_nGarden of Gethsemane stops one in his tracks.

The architecture was inspired by a similar center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protege, Fay Jones.

If you are ever near Omaha, take the time to visit the Holy Family Shrine for a slice of heaven on earth.


  1. Cheryl Cibula on June 12, 2013 at 8:31 am

    The last trip I took with my parents was to this church, it was my dad’s wish to go there. We attended Mass on a beautiful summers day. Wonderful experience, as you said, “a gem” in the middle of a field. Glad you had the chance to experience it too. Thanks for Quiner’s Diners and look forward to your writings.

    • quinersdiner on June 12, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Great to hear from you. Thanks for writing.