Thirteen nuns at a Michigan convent outside Detroit have died from coronavirus, twelve of whom died within one month of each other. The losses amount to 22 percent of the convent’s population.
The nuns were all members of the Felician Sisters convent in Livonia, and ranged in age from 69 to 99. A publication called the Global Sisters Report said the deaths “may be the worst loss of life to a community of women religious since the 1918 influenza pandemic.”
“We grieve for each of our sisters who has passed during the time of the pandemic throughout the province, and we greatly appreciate all of those who are holding us in prayer and supporting us in a number of ways,” Sister Mary Christopher Moore, provincial minister of Our Lady of Hope Province, told CNN.
The Global Sisters Report says that at least 19 other nuns have died of coronavirus-related complications as of July 16.
The convent implemented a strict no-visitors rule when the pandemic began in March. Nevertheless, the first death occurred on April 10, and the others followed closely behind. At one point, the 360-acre campus was home to 800 sisters. Now, there are only around 50.
“The faith we share with sisters as they are dying, the prayers we share with sisters as they are dying: We missed all that. It kind of shattered our faith life a little bit,” said Sister Joyce Marie Van de Vyver.
Michigan ranks seventh in the country for most covid-19-related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins.