CHICAGO — After a renovation years in the making, Cardinal Blase Cupich blessed the grounds of the former Our Lady of the Angels Outreach Center Sunday.
The ceremony was held on the 62-year anniversary of the original dedication ceremony of the school building that burned down in a 1958 fire. Ninety-five people died in the blaze — most of whom were children — and in the process, an overhaul of school fire codes around the United States was set off by the incident.
“We pray for healing and peace for all those affected by that great tragedy,” Cupich said during the rededication ceremony.
The renovated building will expand the reach of the mission of Our Lady of the Angels, which serves the community with a food pantry and neighborhood programs.
“We serve 3,000 families a month with food, clothing and household goods,” said Sister Stephanie Baliga. “Retreats and housing volunteers [also] expand our work.”
Baliga is someone who has used her feet as much as her faith while serving the mission of Our Lady of the Angels. Next weekend, she will run in the Chicago Marathon.
“This is how the providence of God occurs,” Baliga said. “When everyone works together and is generous, that’s how grace works here in our world today.”
Since establishing ‘Team Our Lady of the Angels’ at the Chicago Marathon in 2012, Baliga said they have raised more than $1.5 million to support the mission’s work.