13 sisters of a Michigan convent have died from coronavirus.
12 of the Felician sisters died within a month of each other, between April 10 and May 10, according to an article published Thursday by The New York Times. The 13th sister died on June 27. The sisters ranged in ages from 69-99.
— Janelle Fiona Griffith (@janellefiona) July 23, 2020
“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 the outlet. (RELATED: Gov. Cuomo’s Order Sent More Than 6,000 Coronavirus Patients Into Nursing Homes, Officials Say)
The women had been members of the convent for 50 years and most had pursued higher education in their lifetimes. Celine Marie Lesinski, 92, spent 55 years working in education. Victoria Marie Indyk, 69, was a professor in nursing at Madonna University. Indyk led mission trips for nurses in Haiti, The Times reported.
“Our ministries across the continent continue to serve those most in need and provide education and care for people from infants and children to our elderly,” Sister Mary Christopher said in an emailed statement to The Times.
The sisters took part in communal living which is said to be “high risk” amid the coronavirus pandemic. The convent implemented strict restrictions as COVID-19 got worse including livestream services, no visitor policies and limited group activities, the outlet reported.
“It is a great canary in a coal mine,” medical historian at the University of Michigan Dr. Howard Markel told the outlet. “Even with the best kept measures, communal living at this point is high risk, especially for the elderly.”