“Mysterious Ways” – 13 nuns die of COVID-19 at a Michigan convent, 12 in one month, in yet another coronavirus pandemic tragedy.
Coronavirus spread so quickly through a convent in Michigan that it claimed the lives of 12 nuns in one month, beginning on Good Friday.
They were all members of the Felician Sisters convent in Livonia, outside of Detroit, ranging in ages from 69 to 99, the executive director for mission advancement, Suzanne English, confirmed to CNN on Tuesday. A 13th sister initially survived the virus but passed away from its effects in June.
CBS News reports:
Thirteen nuns at a Roman Catholic convent in Livonia, Michigan have died of COVID-19 complications since the outbreak began, 22% of residents, said a spokeswoman for the Felician Sisters of North America. Seventeen nuns recovered, Suzanne Wilcox English said Tuesday.
The nuns — who ranged in age from 69 to 99 — included teachers, an author and a secretary in the Vatican Secretariat of State, according to the Global Sisters Report, an outlet of the National Catholic Reporter publishing company. The Global Sisters Report said the 13 deaths “may be the worst loss of life to a community of women religious since the 1918 influenza pandemic.”
The Global Sisters Report notes:
They were teachers. A librarian. A director of religious education. A secretary in the Vatican Secretariat of State. The author of a 586-page history of the congregation.
One was an organist. One helped her second-grade class write and perform a commercial for Campbell’s Soup. One was a nurse and led nursing students’ mission trips to Haiti.
All of them were members of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice, or Felician Sisters. They lived together, prayed together and worked together.
More details on the tragedy via CNN:
On Good Friday, April 10, came the first death: Sister Mary Luiza Wawrzyniak, 99.
By May 10, a total of 12 sisters died, according to English. They include; Sister Thomas Marie Wadowski, 73, Sister Mary Patricia Pyszynski, 93, Sister Mary Clarence (Adeline) Borkoski, 83, Sister Rose Mary Wolak, 86, Sister Mary Janice (Margaret) Zolkowski, 86, Sister Mary Alice Ann (Fernanda) Gradowski, 73, Sister Victoria Marie Indyk, 69, Sister Mary Martinez (Virginia) Rozek, 87, and Sister Mary Madeleine (Frances) Dolan, 82.
Speaking about the tragedy, Sister Joyce Marie Van de Vyver said:
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.
Sister Andrew told Global Sisters Report:
I first heard two aides had contracted the virus. We don’t know who they are, and we don’t want to know. Then it hit sisters on the second floor, and it went through like wildfire.
Bottom line: In yet another coronavirus pandemic tragedy, 13 nuns die of COVID-19 at a Michigan convent.