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Roadtrippin': Holy Family Shrine Church welcomes visitors of all faiths

This year marks the 20th anniversary of when construction on the shrine began.

Driving from Omaha to Lincoln, you've probably noticed a glass building with a tall roof just off of Interstate 80.

That's called the Holy Family Shrine Church, and it's open to visitors and people of every faith.

"This is a spot that we picked or the Lord picked I guess you can say," said Father Matthew Gutowski.

Up above Interstate 80 in Gretna, Gutowski feels at peace.

"Another way of being touched by the Lord and being touched by him and by his grace."

From a place with a beautiful view sits the Holy Family Shrine Church, which Gutowski the 1990s.

He got the idea after a trip to Orlando, Florida, where there's a similar shrine.

Three other people helped make this a reality.

"I just thought, ‘OK, Lord if you really want this, then send them to me."

Gutowski estimates about 20,000 people visit the Holy Family Shrine every year.

Not all of them are Catholic. He says people of all religions stop by to rest and pray.

"Where you can kind of just go to get away with the usual and from the ordinary," Gutowski said. “Outside the church, there's even a path people can take to feel closer to God."

That path includes a trail of flowers and an area for the stations of the cross.

It recognizes Jesus’ last day on earth as a man.

Gutowski said, "It remembers in Jerusalem the way of the cross and the way that Christ carried his cross through Jerusalem to Calvary."

For Gutowski, the work that has been done here is a dream come true.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of when construction on the shrine began.

It operates solely on donations from visitors.

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