Inside a Roman Catholic convent in Michigan, thirteen nuns all died at the same time because they came down with COVID-19. The heartbreaking situation came to light after the virus got inside the religious institution and spread through the nuns at the Felician Sisters convent “like wildfire.” Most of the nuns died within the same month, and now the survivors want you to know just how deadly the coronavirus can be, so where your mask.
The nuns who died from COVID-19 ranged in age from sixty-nine to ninety-nine. Many great people were lost to the world when the nuns perished from the virus that has caused the worst pandemic in modern history. The dead nuns were members of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice, which is located in Livonia, Michigan. The convent lost teachers, an author, and a secretary for the Vatican Secretariat of State. They will be sorely missed.
The Global Sisters Report claimed that the death of these nuns was “the worst loss of life to a community of women religious since the 1918 influenza pandemic.” That means that things have not been this bad for more than one hundred years when it comes to a viral pandemic.
The nuns were at high risk from the virus because of their advanced ages and their close contact with each other, which did not change as reports of the coronavirus became national news. Family and friends describe the group as people who “lived together, prayed together, and worked together.”
The coronavirus was brought into the isolated convent by two aides. They did not realize they had been infected and came to the convent without getting tested. Then, the virus started spreading through the buildings in the Roman Catholic convent like wildfire – just as it has in nursing home facilities and other locations where elderly people live.
For one month, a sister died every other day from COVID-19. In total, thirteen nuns died from the coronavirus while an additional eighteen were infected but survived.
Due to the health guidelines and risk of transmission, the sisters were forbidden from attending the funerals of their sisters. This made the grieving process even more difficult as they could not celebrate the life of these religious women or give them the appropriate send off to the afterlife.
Most of the deaths at the convent occurred between April 10 and May 10, when the coronavirus took the lives of twelve nuns. However, a thirteenth sister died on June 27.
“We couldn’t contain the grief and the sorrow and the emotional impact,” Noel Marie Gabriel, director of clinical health services for the Felician Sisters of North America, told the publication. “We went through the motions of doing what we had to do, but that month was like a whole different way of life. That was our most tragic time. It was a month of tragedy and sorrow and mourning and grieving.”
Many more nuns have died across the company due to the coronavirus. The exact number is unknown because religious officials admitted to not tracking the statistics well.