A priest and nun who died heroically in a church fire will be commemorated with a 50th-anniversary Mass Sunday, Feb. 26. Bishop Salvatore R. Matano will celebrate the liturgy at 10:30 a.m. at Church of the Annunciation, 1754 Norton St., Rochester.
In the early afternoon of Feb. 20, 1967, Father George Weinmann rushed into the former St. Philip Neri Church in Rochester, approaching the tabernacle while the church was on fire in an effort to rescue the Blessed Sacrament. Sister Lillian Marie McLaughlin, SSND, attempted to assist him, but both were unable to escape the burning church. Sister McLaughlin died at the scene and Father Weinmann died two days later.
Since then, many have regarded Father Weinmann and Sister McLaughlin as martyrs for their deeds. The tabernacle from that 1967 tragedy is now housed in the eucharistic chapel at Rochester's Sacred Heart Cathedral.