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Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) School Fire, December 1, 1958
OLA Fire Period News Articles
(These stories have been reproduced as accurately as possible from the original news reports, including original errors)
90 Die In School Fire (12/1/58)
74 Hurt, Blast Traps Scores (12/1/58)
Tough Chicago Police Weep At The Tragic, Tiny Bundles (12/1/58)
Tom Feared Sight Of Death's Mask (12/1/58)
Margaret Was a Little Girl Who Didn't Like to Be Sick (12/1/58)
Joe Wasn't Hurt, He Saw Only Horror (12/1/58)
Sobbing Nun Tells of Horror In School Fire (12/1/58)
Parish Families Seek Children (12/1/58)
Man, 74, Stricken Helping Children (12/1/58)
F.B.I. Ready to Assist Chicago Fire Inquire (12/1/58)
Panic Grips Classrooms; Confusion Increases Toll (12/1/58)
Everybody was Jumping (12/1/58)
List of Identified Dead In Chicago School Fire (12/1/58)
Fire Gong Tolled A Deadly Message (12/1/58)
Frantic Dad Tells Fire Rescue Role (12/1/58)
85 Youngsters Still Hospitalized; Blaze 3rd Worst In 100 Years (12/2/58)
Smoldering School Ruins Like A Cavern Of Death (12/2/58)
87 Children, 3 Nuns Die in School Fire (12/2/58)
Probers of Fire Ask: Why? (12/2/58)
Schoolboy Smoking Cigaret Might Have Touched Off Fire (12/2/58)
One Family's Story (12/2/58)
Throng Just Waits, Looks (12/2/58)
The Morgue (12/2/58)
School Fire Chicago's Worst in 55 Years (12/2/58)
“I'll Remember It to My Dying Day,” Says Fireman (12/2/58)
Chronology Shows Speed of Disaster (12/2/58)
Girl Recalls Burning Backs Of Classmates (12/2/58)
Chicago Presses Search for Clues to Fire At School (12/2/58)
'I Won't Give Up Hope,' Says Father (12/2/58)
Boy Who Jumped Tells of Tragedy (12/2/58)
Pope John Wires Condolences to Bereaved Kin (12/2/58)
Arson Squad to Probe Fire in School Last Year (12/2/58)
“It's Just Too Much,” Laments Archbishop (12/2/58)
Hospitals Work Around Clock to Relieve Injured (12/2/58)
Other School Tragedies (12/2/58)
Moscow Says School Fire No Accident (12/2/58)
Memories of Horror Rack School Janitor (12/2/58)
How Fireman Feels Carrying Out Victims (12/3/58)
Third Worst In Nation (12/3/58)
Priests Try Vainly To Comfort Bereaved Relatives And Parents (12/3/58)
Struggle to Save Fire Survivors Continues (12/3/58)
Gigantic IFs Jolt Probers Digging Into Fire Mystery (12/3/58)
Fire Leads to School Checkups (12/3/58)
Rites Held for Nuns Killed in School Fire (12/4/58)
10,000 Mourners at Funeral Of Three Nuns Killed in Fire (12/4/58)
Mass Offered for 28 Small Victims of Fire (12/5/58)
Fire Victim's Souls Commended to God (12/5/58)
91st Chicago Victim Of School Fire Dies (12/6/58)
500 Children Face Questioning In School Fire (12/6/58)
Bereaved Families Mourn in Chicago (12/7/58)
9-Year-Old Boy Dies, Raises Chicago School Fire Toll to 92 (12/8/58)
Boy Becomes 92d Victim of Chicago Fire (12/8/58)
School Fire Horror Probed (12/11/58)
Chicago School Afire Long Before 1st Alarm (12/11/58)
Terror, Torment Related by School Fire Victims (12/13/58)
Girl Fire Victim, 9, Wonders Why Cards Have Stopped Coming (12/14/58)
Fire. Thirty-Eight O Eight Iowa...The Alarm Was Desperate, the Tragedy Incredible! (12/15/58)
Nightmare in the News (12/15/58)
Disasters - The Chicago School Fire (12/15/58)
How Safe Are The Schools (12/15/58)
Fire Hazards Found At 2 City Schools
Two Schools To Be Closed As Fire Risks
Texas School Tragedy Of 294 Dead Recalled
$50,000? So What?
Erect Fireproof School Building (11/30/59)
City Cleared As Defendant In School Fire (7/19/60)
New School Open (9/60)
Considered prime suspect in Chicago blaze (1/16/1962)
Boy Admits Fire Fatal To 95 (1/16/62)
Judge Rips Lie Tester On Boy's Story Of Fire (1/16/1966)
Cicero Won't Let Police Talk to Youth (1/16/1962)
Lad Cleared in School Fire (3/13/62)
Memories stay forever - Our Lady of Angels fire survivor (11/83)
'Born fireman' wanted to be part of the action (6/1/2003)
10,000 Mourners at Funeral Of Three Nuns Killed in Fire
CHICAGO, Dec 4 - (UPI) - Three heroic nuns and five children - the first of 90 dead in the Our Lady of the Angels School fire - were laid to rest Thursday.
Ten thousand mourners came to the parish church, where the smell of smoke and charred wood from the school next door still hung heavily in the air.
They honored the selfless sisters who died with their children in Monday's tragedy.
Biblical Basis
The text of their funeral sermon was the same which had guided their lives and given meaning to their deaths - 20 words from St. Mark.
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for of such is the kingdom of God.”
In other West Side churches, services were held for five of the school's 87 dead children - Charles Nuebert, 9, Lorraine Nieri, 12, Mary Virgilio, 15, James Rogona, 9, and Karen Margaret Hobik, 13.
Archbishop Albert G. Meyer of Chicago and Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York will offer masses in a National Guard armory for 27 of the victims Friday. Private services will be held for the others Friday and Saturday.
The city's sorrow Thursday centered on the three women of God who were caught up in Chicago's greatest fire desaster in 55 years.
The archbishop celebrated their funeral mass and Msgr. William McManus, superintendent of Chicago's Parochial schools, delivered their sermon.
“Our three sisters died a magnificent death,” the monsignor said. “When the fire broke out they knew what to do - pray and save the children - and they did this until their death.”
Final Prayer
He recalled that firemen heard the voices of the doomed nuns through the smoke and fire Monday.
They were serenely repeating the last words of the Hail Mary - “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death; amen.”
“No mother of any child killed in this fire could have been more unselfish or more heroic than these nuns,” the priest said.
“They had taught, and believed, that all that matters is a happy death,” he said. “No lesson was ever so well taught as their last lesson.”
Msgr. McManus did not mention the nuns' names in his sermon because “they would not have wanted it.” But their names and the way they died were well known to the mourners. They were.
Sister Mary Clare Therese, 27; Sister Mary St. Canice, 44; Sister Mary Seraphica, 48.
They were nuns of the order of Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin.