Coronavirus: 8 nuns living in Wisconsin convent die of COVID-19 in past week

ELM GROVE, Wis. — Eight nuns living in a suburban Milwaukee convent have died of COVID-19 in the past week, including four who passed away on the same day, the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province has confirmed.

A statement from the congregation stated that all eight deaths at the Notre Dame of Elm Grove occurred since Dec. 9 and that there are an undisclosed number of confirmed cases of the virus among the 88 sisters living at the convent, WCCO reported.

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“All CDC guidelines are being followed regarding the care of sisters affected by COVID-19 and to avoid spread of the virus, including wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the sisters, their caregivers and families. We invite you to join us in prayer for all those affected by the pandemic.”

According to the congregation’s website, Sisters Cynthia Borman, Joan Emily Kaul, Lillia Langreck and Michael Marie Laux died on Monday; Sister Mary Alexius Portz died Sunday; Sister Dorothy MacIntyre died on Dec. 11; and Sisters Rose M. Feess and Mary Elva Wiesner died Dec. 9.

The Notre Dame of Elm Grove outbreak follows similar tragedies at similar religious homes for the aging, including the deaths of three nuns at a convent near Detroit, the death of seven at a center for Maryknoll sisters in New York and the deaths of at least six nuns at Our Lady of the Angels convent in Greenfield, Wisconsin, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, at least 13 nuns at the Felician Sisters of North America in Livonia, Michigan, or roughly 22% of the convent’s residents, died in July of COVID-19 complications following a monthlong outbreak.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame established the Notre Dame of Elm Grove home in 1859 to provide an orphanage for children in the area. It later became a home for elderly and ill sisters, according to its website.

Click here to learn more about the lives of the Notre Dame of Elm Grove sisters who died of COVID-19.

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