12 nuns died of coronavirus in one month at Michigan convent
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Twelve nuns at a single Michigan convent died of the coronavirus in one month earlier this year, according to a Tuesday report. 

The 12 nuns, who ranged in age from 69 to 99, were members of the Felician Sisters convent in Livonia, outside Detroit. A 13th nun, Sister Mary Danatha Suchyta, 98, died in June after surviving the first wave, Suzanne English, the convent's executive director for mission advancement, told CNN.

The Felician Sisters convent's first death from COVID-19, 99-year-old Sister Mary Luiza Wawrzyniak, came on Good Friday. Two more died on Easter Sunday, and by May 10, another nine who lived on the convent’s campus had died.


"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.

"We all knew if it hit the place, it would be bad," Sister Mary Ann Smith told Global Sisters Report. "But we never anticipated how quickly it would go."

Like many institutions, the convent implemented a no-visitor rule and restrictions on group activities starting in March as the pandemic began to take hold in the U.S., according to Global Sisters Report. Only 10 people were able to go to each funeral to prevent coronavirus spread.

"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 Joyce Marie Van de Vyver reportedly said.

At least 30 of the nuns at the Livonia convent became infected, English confirmed to CNN.

The Livonia convent is one of 60 Felician Sisters convents in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to a mission in Haiti, with a total membership of 469. Across the U.S., at least 19 other nuns died from the pandemic, according to Global Sisters Report, including in Wisconsin, New Jersey and New York.