13 nuns at Livonia convent die from COVID-19

Felician Sisters hit hard by coronavirus

Rosary (WDIV)

LIVONIA, Mich. – The Felician Sisters convent in Livonia has lost 13 nuns to COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the region in March.

The Global Sisters Report says 12 of the nuns died between April 10 and May 10. Overall, 18 other sisters at the convent contracted the illness from coronavirus. One of those 18 sisters who first survived the disease died from its effects June 27, making her the 13th victim in the Livonia convent, according to the Global Sisters Report.

“We couldn’t contain the grief and the sorrow and the emotional impact,” said Sr. Noel Marie Gabriel, director of clinical health services for the Felician Sisters of North America. “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.”

The Global Sisters Report believes this may be the worst loss of life to a community of religious women in the United States since the 1918 influenza pandemic.

As of this report, the city of Livonia has confirmed 997 cases of COVID-19 and 166 deaths related to the illness. Wayne County has reported a total 11,992 cases of COVID-19 and 1,195 deaths related to the illness.

MORE: Wayne County COVID-19 data: Tracking cases, deaths; City-by-city breakdown

The Felician Sisters convent is officially named the “Congregation of Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi (CSSF).” The sisters are located on a campus with Madonna University next to St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital.

The sisters used to operate Ladywood High School in Livonia. The all-girls Catholic high school shut down in 2018.

VIEW: Michigan COVID-19 data