Vaccinations bring hope to Michigan convent where 14 nuns died from COVID

‘Spring always brings hope,’

The head of the Adrian Dominican Sisters said the rise in vaccinations is bringing hope to the convent.
The head of the Adrian Dominican Sisters said the rise in vaccinations is bringing hope to the convent.

ADRIAN, Mich. – The head of the Adrian Dominican Sisters said the rise in vaccinations is bringing hope to the convent.

“It was a year ago today that we closed our campus due to COVID-19,” Sister Pat Siemen recalled.

Siemen, the head of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, said the convent was able to hold coronavirus at bay -- especially in the home for senior and retired nuns -- for the first nine months of the pandemic.

In January, COVID started to spread in the nursing home for nuns. The results were startling and the community had to say goodbye to nine retired Sisters over a period of just a few days.

But the virus didn’t stop there.

“A total of 14 Sisters that have died due to COVID,” Siemen recalled. “A number of them contracted COVID at the same time. Some of them had symptoms.”

READ: Adrian Dominican Sisters report deadly COVID-19 outbreak at Michigan motherhouse

Despite the devastating loss, the Adrian Dominican Sisters remain optimistic.

“Spring is here,” Siemen said. “Signs of life coming to birth all around us.”

The Lenawee County Health Department vaccinated all of the Sisters on campus.

“We have zero cases,” Siemen said.

Siemen said the vaccine delivered on springs doorstep has saved lives, lifted spirits and brought hope.

“Spring always brings hope,” Siemen said.

READ: Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases


About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.