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1897 – 2017 The care of orphaned, dependent and needy children as a mission of the Sisters of St.

This arrangement, however, was not satisfactory because the Sisters could not provide a total, nurturing environment.

In the spring of 1896, the Sisters began to discuss the establishment of an institution for the care of these children, where complete care could be provided, especially for the youngest children.

The Sisters had begun their work in Joliet in 1863, under the leadership of their foundress, Mother Alfred Moes.

Their first mission was to teach, and so the request that they take in, care for and educate these girls was consistent with their general purpose.

It was that small house which became the first Guardian Angel Home when, on October 19, 1897, the first orphans moved into the small cottage under the supervision of Mother Mary Lucia Raub, the first administrator of the Guardian Angel Home.

She was assisted by Sisters Armella Billian and Ermelinda Miller.

The funds were quickly pledged, and more than $110,000 was promised for the project.

The original plan was to build a large institution on the cottage model. Michael Fitzpatrick, a wealthy farmer from Lockport, not only gave a $6000 donation but also, on May 30, 1920, pledged a two hundred acre site. Fitzpatrick and his two sisters, Fannie and Catherine.

For the two years preceding 1920, there had been some discussion of a much larger orphanage, to be built as an archdiocesan institution to serve the orphans of Will and Grundy Counties.

On April 7, 1920, an article in the Joliet Evening Herald-News described the plans for the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Silver Jubilee of the ordination of Cardinal Mundelein.

Shortly after the pastor finished his sermon a thunderbolt struck the steeple of the church and traveled through the choir loft to the ground, splitting the loft in two.