The "farmhouse and barns monastery" was beautifully ready for Christmas the night it burned, December 23, 1955. There was a rightness about everything that particular evening. Compline had been sung with devotion and gratitude and the nuns had been blessed for the night. The few who tarried did so with particular permission, preparing for the solemn announcement of Christmas in the morning. The permission brought all their activity under their vow of obedience. Then the fire happened, sudden, swift, and fierce. The smoke from the
various inexpensive composition materials used in the building was both blinding and suffocating, even in the few minutes before the lights went out. Perfect obedience alone saved the novices’ lives as they filed out silently over floors already hot beneath their feet. Most of the professed nuns reached the yard easily, but a few lost precious time in dismay over the smoke in the main stairway. Strong sisters hurried to help two invalids. Sister Mary Dolores of the Holy Angels brought out a Sister with a serious heart condition. Then realizing that Sister Mary Regina of the Rosary was still inside, she hurried back a second time to help Sister Mary Constance of Jesus find her.
"Whose lives burn out before thy consecrated shrine... have only human hearts and human frailty."
All three died together in an enduring witness to the fraternal charity that has continued to be the hallmark of this community. The next day, in the ashes of the cloistered choir, a charred remnant of a page from a hymnal was found: