A Mass at St. Joseph's Convent on Staten Island on Sunday doubled as a prayer vigil for Sister Regina Gegic, who was critically injured the day before when she jumped out of one of the convent's windows while trying to escape a fire that police are calling suspicious.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan attended the Mass and participated in the prayers for Gegic, who suffered serious back injuries.
"She's very conscious now," said Sister Mary William McGovern, who is also a member of the convent's order, Daughters of Divine Charity. "She's just in severe pain and she's awaiting evaluation by a neurosurgeon."
Fire officials are investigating the fire as a possible bias crime. The damage to the convent is extensive, and the chapel is nearly gone.
Another nun in the order, Beth Johnson, wondered "what kind of hatred" would cause someone to start the fire.
Daughters of Divine Charity had been planning to celebrate its 100th anniversary.