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COVID-19 Claims Lives of 13 Nuns in Michigan Convent

FILE - A quiet street is seen in Livonia, Michigan, Oct. 9, 2019. Thirteen nuns from a Roman Catholic convent in Livonia have died from coronavirus since April 10, 2020.

The town of Livonia, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, is mourning the loss of 13 nuns from the same Roman Catholic convent there who died of COVID-19 complications since the outbreak began.

The sisters were of the Felician Sisters order and all lived and worked in the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia. A statement from the Felician order said they were between the ages of 69 and 99. The first 12 nuns contracted the coronavirus and died between April 10 and May 10. The 13th died June 27.

A spokeswoman for the order says the deceased nuns accounted for 22 percent of the Felician Sisters' convent.

The Felician Sisters say the nuns were all active in the community, and many held college degrees, some advanced. They taught in schools and worked in local libraries and hospitals.

Livonia Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan said the Felician Sisters have been taking care of people in the community "literally from cradle to grave." She said everything people do in the city of 93,000 has a component that involves the nuns. "They take care of our health. They take care of our spiritual well-being. They take care of our education."

Brosnan said she is a product of the Felician Sisters. "They're responsible for my education through grade school," she said. "They've educated my husband. They educated my three children. We put our hearts in their hands."

The mayor said the nuns, all aging and working in a contained, close environment, were particularly vulnerable to the virus.