National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Dec. 1, Victims of the Fire at Our Lady of the Angels School

 | 

On Dec. 1, 1958, a fire at Our Lady of the Angels parochial school in Chicago killed 92 children and three nuns.

Our Lady of the Angels was at 909 North Avers Avenue, at the intersection with West Iowa Street. Over 1600 children, mostly Italian-American, attended the school.

For detailed accounts of the fire, stories of the victims, stories of the survivors, maps and models, news reports from December, 1958, and many pictures, including "the defining image of the Our Lady of the Angels fire, seen around the world, and made into a moving fire prevention poster", please click here.


The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary who died in the fire were Sister Mary Clare Therese Champagne, Sister Mary Seraphica Kelley, and Sister Mary St. Canice Lyng. (Sister Mary Seraphica's charred body was identified in the morgue by her number in community, 2764, found on her cincture.)

For "Stunned With Sorrow," an article about the nuns from Chicago History by Suellen Hoy, author of Good Hearts: Catholic Sisters in Chicago's Past, click here.

For Wikipedia's article on the fire, click here.

For Wapedia's article, click here.


(The fire at Our Lady of the Angels was not the first school fire in Illinois in which nuns and students died. In 1884, at Immaculate Conception Academy in Belleville, four School Sisters of Notre Dame and 22 boarders were killed. Among the nuns was the superior, Sister Mary Jerome Heil.)

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts