Sister Ivantic was born in 1913, five years before the Spanish flu pandemic that began in 1918. Now, the Chicago woman religious can add the novel coronavirus to the deadly illnesses she has escaped.
When Father Jorge Ortiz died March 27, it wasn’t the first time that death visited the Diocese of Brooklyn during a pandemic. A perusal of the headlines from the 1918 editions of The Tablet reveals that the Spanish Flu of that year hit the church here in unexpected and dramatic ways.
Catholic nuns emerged as the unexpected heroes in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic that killed hundreds of thousands in the United States and millions worldwide.