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Eight elderly nuns dead from COVID-19 at Wisconsin convent, four on same day – New York Post

Eight elderly nuns at a Wisconsin convent died of COVID-19 complications in the last week — including four who passed away on the same day.

The women were all in their late 80s and 90s and had been residing at Notre Dame of Elm Grove, a retirement home for sisters in suburban Milwaukee, authorities said.

“Even though they’re older… we didn’t expect them to go so, so quickly,” said Sister Debra Marie Sciano. “It was just very difficult for us.”

The congregation that runs the home found out on Thanksgiving Day that one of the 88 sisters who lived there had caught the deadly illness, said Sciano, the provincial leader for School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province.

Several more positive tests followed and, on Dec. 9, Sisters Rose M. Feess and Mary Elva Wiesner died.

Sister Dorothy MacIntyre died Dec. 11 and Sister Mary Alexius Portz died Sunday, according to the congregation’s website

Four of the eight — Sisters Cynthia Borman, Joan Emily Kaul, Lillia Langreck and Michael Marie Laux — all died on Monday.

All of the women worked as educators, including Wiesner, who taught in Catholic elementary schools for more than 40 years and worked as gift shop coordinator at the home.

Some had been missionaries and musicians, or worked on peace and justice issues. One of the sisters was a published poet and another spent her summers working on an American Indian reservation in South Dakota.

Notre Dame of Elm Grove convent in Wisconsin.
Notre Dame of Elm Grove in Wisconsin.
AP Photo/Morry Gash

The tragic outbreak comes after six nuns at Our Lady of Angels Convent in Greenfield, Wisconsin, also a care home for Catholic sisters, died in August of the coronavirus.

In July, seven nuns died at a center for Maryknoll sisters in Ossining, New York and 13 died at a convent near Detroit, Michigan.

Last month, 76 Catholic nuns at a convent in Germany tested positive for COVID-19, forcing health authorities to put the entire monastery under quarantine.

Waukesha County Department of Health & Human Services said county disease investigators have been working with the School Sisters of Notre Dame facility since they were contacted about the outbreak.

Sciano declined to say how many other sisters have tested positive, citing privacy reasons.

With Post wires

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