The Felician Sisters convent lost its first member in April, on Good Friday. Two additional deaths followed on Easter. Within one month, 12 nuns, whose ages ranged from 69 to 99, passed away after contracting the virus. An additional sister, who had survived the outbreak, later died in June from some of the lasting medical complications caused by COVID-19.
"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.
The women lived and worked on a 360-acre campus that reportedly once housed up to 800 sisters. There are now about 50 nuns residing at the campus. Per CNN, an estimated 30 sisters in Livonia contracted COVID-19. Seventeen have reportedly recovered.
"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 said in a statement, referring to the difficulty of not being able to care for their fellow sisters in their final moments.
The news comes amidst a wave of grief, as the U.S. once again reached 1000 deaths from COVID-19 within a single day. Donald Trump is now reviving his coronavirus press briefings, though still barely acknowledging the amount of harm that this pandemic has caused the entire country.
"Some areas of the country [are] doing very well, others doing less well," Trump said on Tuesday. "It will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better. I don't like saying that, but that's the way it is."
Over 145,000 Americans have died because COVID-19.