The power of the nuns at Our Lady of the Angels - then and now

Dec 07, 2020 254


Driving to the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels in West Humboldt Park as the first specks of snow fell this winter, I was taken back to my time writing obituaries as a cub reporter. There was an unwritten rule then at the Archdiocese of Chicago’s newspaper, the Chicago Catholic: Priests always got top billing. Shorten the nuns’ obituaries first, if you were running out of space.

I was doing just that one fall afternoon in 2006 when I noticed Our Lady of the Angels on the list of Sister Davidis Devine’s Roman Catholic school teaching assignments spanning several decades. Like many Chicagoans, I’d been haunted, transfixed by stories of the Dec. 1, 1958, school fire that killed 92 children and three sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or BVMs.

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