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The other sister died at the end of June. Moreover, about a third of these deaths have been linked to the state's nursing homes. By the order's count, there are now only 469 sisters living in 60 convents in North America. At least 13 nuns from a single convent in Livonia, ... the Detroit Catholic news service reported that as many as 22 sisters at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in … Enter your address to see what the candidates on your ballot had to say, from U.S. Senate to your local school board. (Photo: Catholic Foundation). So far, Moloney said, people have given about $9,000 to the fund, and many donations have been $10 and $20 from strangers. When the Felician Sisters established the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in 1936, Livonia was just a small town of farm fields outside of Detroit. The sisters also sponsor the Senior Clergy Village, the Felician Children’s Center in Jackson, Deo Gratias Ministries in Detroit, and the Maryville Retreat Center in Holly. Zervos — who attended Madonna University and has a teenage daughter who she hopes to enroll there next year — said that something sweet happened at the cemetery while she was praying. A combination photograph shows the 11 Felician Sisters who died in April from the congregation’s Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia. Wallander is the director of development for the Felician Sisters, based in Pittsburgh, but came to Michigan to help care for the religious sisters while they were in isolation. “The raw grief is yet to come, I think.” (Photo: Felician Sisters of North America). ", Chapel of the Felician Sisters in Livonia on August 1, 2020. COVID-19 has led to the deaths of 13 nuns at a convent in Livonia in the last three months, religious officials report. She added they are grateful for whatever anyone has sent. (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press). Religious sisters who dedicated their lives to the care of others are now in need of support, and Michiganders like Zervos, and many from as far away as Norway, are offering sympathy notes and donations. "Whether we have been affected directly or personally by this pandemic, we all want to see good in the world, we all want to see something better," Moloney said. "Any word you can think of that means leader and women making a difference. Thirteen Felician sisters in The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia, Michigan died from COVID-19, a recent report reveals. She died April 26, 2020. In Livonia, they founded Madonna University, a Montessori school, St. Mary Child Care Center, Angela Hospice, and Marywood Nursing Care Center, as well as the all-female Ladywood High School, which closed as a result of declining enrollment in 2018. She died on April 21, 2020. She died April 12, 2020. Sister Mary Madeline Dolan, 82 a native of Flint, spent over 30 years in religious education. The nuns took vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty — and, some say, an unofficial vow of humility. She died on April 12, 2020. Come and see the joy we have presenting Christ to others through education, service to the poor, children with autism, children with special educational needs, … She began her journey as a Felician Sister in 1946, professing her final vows in 1954. And, like many organizations, the sisters have had to take pandemic precautions, such as wearing protective equipment and learning to use more digital communication to maintain their social distance. “I get chills thinking about that,” Sr. Mary Andrew Budinski, the superior of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Livonia… The Catholic Foundation of Michigan has set up a fund to support of the sisters, including burial expenses, the costs of care, sanitizing, and protective equipment. "The raw grief is yet to come." Beginning in the 1930s, the sisters founded schools and hospitals in Livonia, when the Detroit suburb was just a small town and farms. Of those, 13 died, including one who recovered, but then relapsed. She died on April 28, 2020. Sister Mary Janice Zolkowski, 86, joined the Felicians in 1951, taking final vows in 1959. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. We are active, apostolic, Catholic religious women participating in the mission of Jesus in the United States of America. And it is who they were, selfless women of faith, who catered to and comforted people in their community. "I get chills thinking about that," said Sister Mary Andrew Budinski, superior of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Livonia, where the women had lived, according to the Global Sisters Report. Don’t forget your ‘vaccine passport’, MISSING PERSON: 34-year-old Jennifer Blackmon, Ohio State study: 30% of student athletes have heart damage linked to COVID-19. She sent the Catholic order a donation, brought flowers to the sisters' graves at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Southfield and kneeled down to pray for the repose of their souls. She said it was likely more coincidental, than miraculous. One donor — who gave $25 and identified himself in the note as a "gay, Jewish man living in L.A." and "probably not your typical supporter" — said he wanted to help because his heart hurt for the pain the sisters have endured. She died on April 20, 2020. Before the pandemic, 57 sisters were living in the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent. (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press). The sisters who died range in age from 69 to 99. Initially, the sisters immigrated to North American in the late 1800s, mostly from Poland, said Marcia Wallander, the order's director of development for North America. Supporters nationwide -- from Arizona, California, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas — and Washington D.C. -- have sent emails of support for the Felician Sisters in Livonia. Sister Mary Patricia DETROIT – Sister Mary Patricia, Cecilia Pyszynski, of Detroit, Michigan, completed her life’s journey of 93 years on April 17, 2020 in Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent, Livonia, Michigan. LIVONIA, Mich. — A convent outside of Detroit has lost 13 nuns to the coronavirus, 12 of them died in one month, according to CNN and The New York Times. Inspired by Venerable Nano Nagle, our Foundress, we participate in the gospel call of liberation and social transformation. That’s who they were.". The Felician Sisters are an incredible group of women who have helped shape social services here and across the country. "That is such a great gift. ", Moloney, who started to cry as she remembered the sisters who died, said that to her, their story is not just a Catholic story, but a personal one because "it could have been any of us: Our sister, our mom, our aunt, ourselves. They came at the request of a priest who was concerned children needed more educational opportunities. Welcome to our new and improved comments, which are for subscribers only. Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Now a local Catholic organization is stepping up to help them. Now there are only 44. The group lost 12 nuns over the course of a month from April 10 to May 10. She was a nurse at St. Mary Hospital in Livonia and St. Francis Home for the Aged in Saginaw. A 13th sister died on June 27. Contributions can be, How to run a primary in a pandemic: Michigan clerks get a crash course, Michigan adds 426 coronavirus cases Sunday with no new deaths, Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko dies of COVID-19, Republicans: Whitmer veto puts extension of jobless benefits at risk, 4 charged in Warren police 'deadly drug cell' bust, Replay: Whitmer update on COVID-19 response, Census estimates show Michigan likely to lose Congressional seat, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. She says living without visitors or interaction was the hardest on the women, who never asked for anything - even in their final days. The sisters were part of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Livonia, Mich., located about 20 miles west of Detroit, which had another 17 sisters who caught the virus, but recovered. Officially, the nuns' order is the Congregation of Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi. If you see comments in violation of our community guidelines, please report them. That's down to 44, with five international students from other congregations staying with them to study at Madonna University, one of the nation's largest Franciscan colleges. Before the pandemic, 57 sisters were living in the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent. The money would go to support their charitable work, but also their needs like facemasks, gloves, medication, funerals, and caregivers as they work to recover from the virus. Response to Love Center Receives Two Gifts in Support of Efforts Sister Mary Alice Ann (Fernanda) Gradowski, 73, entered the Felicians in 1964, professing final vows in 1973. August 6, 2020. Sister Mary Martinez Rozek, 87, from Chicago, formally joined the sisters, professing final vows in 1957. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. In Livonia over the years, sisters from the convent founded Madonna University, a Montessori school, St. Mary Child Care Center, Angela Hospice and Marywood Nursing Care Center, and … St. Joseph Care Center of the Felician Sisters campus in Livonia on August 1, 2020. Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or fwitsil@freepress.com. View our Youtube channel. "Jesus assures us, 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.' Twelve of those sisters died within one month, between April 10 and May 10. According to the North American Felicians, at least seven of the sisters — whose average age was 85 — had contracted COVID-19. She died on June 27, 2020. ©2020 FOX Television Stations, First known US case of UK COVID-19 variant confirmed in Colorado, COVID-19: 1 year ago, medical bulletin went out on 'undiagnosed pneumonia', Nashville man's girlfriend warned officers last year he was building bombs, Alto Reed, Detroit musician and longtime saxophone player with Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band, dies at 72, 4 men charged after fentanyl trafficking ring busted by Warren police, Former Lake Orion HS student breaks silence claiming teacher was sexual predator, Looking to travel post COVID-19? In June, a … Of those, 13 died of the disease, including one who recovered, but then relapsed. Contributions can be made online or by calling 248-204-0332. "They are so self-sacrificing, they never think of themselves first. She died on April 17, 2020. Sister Mary Luiza Wawrzyniak, 99, a native of South Bend, Indiana, was a Felician sister for 80 years. Your information will not be shared with anyone. On top of the challenges of raising money for the charitable work they do for others, the aging sisters also face the costs of funerals, extra face masks, and gloves to keep them safe, and hot meals, medicine, and caregivers as they recover from the virus. (Photo: Felician Sisters of North America), The Catholic Foundation of Michigan has set up a fund to support of the sisters, including burial expenses, the costs of care, sanitizing, and protective equipment. Sister Mary Patricia Pyszynski, 93, was a Detroit native and an educator for 60 years. In July, 13 religious sisters, who ranged in age from 69 to 99 and who lived, prayed and worked together at a Michigan convent, died in a matter of weeks. Before April, there were 57 sisters living in the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia. Sister Danatha Suchyta, 98, a Detroit native, was a member of the Felician Congregation for 80 years. ", "These women have sacrificed their wants and needs for the greater community," Moloney said. The sisters, aged 69 to 99, were all part of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Livonia, Michigan. That likely led to the deaths of 13 elderly sisters at a Livonia convent. The third of three children of Aloysius and Clara (Pletzki), Virginia was born on Nov. 20, 1932, and baptized at St. Joseph Church in Chicago. Death Came when Holy Communion Stopped Thirteen Felician sisters were killed after coronavirus swept “like a wildfire” through Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Livonia, Michigan. "If you look at our website it is pictures of the sisters hugging touching and being with people because they don't want and one to feel alone, feel hungry, afraid or not educated," Wallander said. Sister Mary Clarence (Adeline) Borkoski, 83, was an educator for 48 years and had been taught by the Felician Sisters when she was in elementary school. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Sister was in religious life for 75 years. Welcome to the Detroit Free Press 2020 Voter Guide. Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. She died on April 22, 2020. Before April, there were 57 sisters living in the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia. Mary Andrew Budinski, local minister at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia, Michigan, accepted the check on behalf of her community. "They are just so touched that they've impacted people's lives in a way that they are remembering them," Wallander said. She died on April 25, 2020. The sisters certainly are not alone in their suffering. But that is commonly shortened to just Felician sisters. A convent, orphanage, and Felician Academy, an all-girl high school, were all housed in the same building. "I was so sorry they suffered, and I know there are some sisters are still ill," Zervos, 52, of Northville, said. LIVONIA, Mich. (FOX 2) - There has been an outpouring of support for the Livonia group of religious sisters that has lost 13 members to the coronavirus. She died on May 10, 2020. There have been more than 80,000 coronavirus cases in Michigan and nearly 6,200 deaths. In addition to Michigan, contributions have come from people living in Arizona, California, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas — and Washington, D.C. Two donations came from Norway. The group lost 12 nuns over the … Sister Thomas Marie Wadowski, 73, a Detroit native, was a Felician sister in Livonia for 54 years. That's down to 44, with five international students from other congregations staying with … Thirteen Felician sisters at a Michigan convent have died from COVID-19, 12 in a one-month span, and another six weeks later.All 13 who died had been members for at least 50 years. ", This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. She oversaw nurses at the convent and in 1997 joined the nursing faculty at Madonna University, where she was professor in the nursing department until her death. That's what hits home. More: How to run a primary in a pandemic: Michigan clerks get a crash course, More: Michigan adds 426 coronavirus cases Sunday with no new deaths. "These were women who are just beyond sisters and your average women, they were leaders, entrepreneurs, and trailblazers," said Marcia Wallander. "They have such strong faith that they're joyous in their sisters passing on into eternal life.". Presentation Sisters Union. So many people were impacted by the deaths of the Felician Sisters, including Moloney with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. She died on April 10, 2020. Before April, there were 57 sisters living in the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia. By the order’s count, there are now only 469 sisters living in 60 convents in North America. Convent in Michigan Loses 13 Sisters to Covid-19 From April 10 to May 10, a dozen Felician sisters at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent died of Covid-19. "You have this group of women who are called by God to serve," Wallander said, adding that they believe God will provide what they need. Additionally, 17 other sisters in the convent contracted the virus and recovered. Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook Moloney says they are trying to raise $100,000 for the aging sisters. The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province was transferred to Detroit in 1882. They're always saying, 'What can we provide the community?' They've given up relationships.". They run Madonna University. The deaths came several months after 13 sisters died of Covid-19 at a Michigan convent, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Livonia, about 20 miles west of Detroit. It helps — when you think about what they did with their lives — to be a better person yourself.". “I get chills thinking about that,” Sr. Mary Andrew Budinski, the superior of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Livonia, where the women lived communally, said in the report. Before April, there were 57 sisters living in the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia. Sister Mary Estelle Printz, 95, was a Detroit native. To limit any further spread of the deadly virus, Wallander said, the sisters are mostly isolated and quarantined in the convent and allowed few visitors, not even family have been permitted to go inside. The sisters who died range in age from 69 to 99. All rights reserved. And in the end, she added, they sacrificed their lives for others. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. As Zervos watched the butterfly open and close its wings, she realized they were blue and gold, Madonna University's school colors. May 4, 2020 May Crowning in Livonia, Michigan On Friday, May 1, during the daily video-broadcast of announcements from Holy Family Chapel in Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent to the Sisters quarantined in their rooms, the annual May Crowning was held. She died on April 26. "They are reluctant to say they need anything," said Angela Moloney, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation, who was moved to tears as she talked about the sisters. "Their whole lives were devoted not to themselves but others. They established a motherhouse directly across the street from St. Albertus Church, the first Polish-American parish in the area. Our Vision. "When we saw the heartbreaking story of the Felician Sisters, we know the great work they do in the community, the self-sacrifice,  the giving and the shining light that these women are in our community and we wanted to be there of support," said Angela Moloney. For generations, they taught toddlers their colors and held the hands of the terminally ill as they took their last breaths. They ranged in age from 69 to 99. The deaths, which have garnered national attention, are a reminder of how vulnerable the elderly are to the virus and the challenges of living close together in independent living facilities and nursing homes. But since the coronavirus pandemic began, 30 nuns — more than half of the nuns living together in their Livonia convent — have come down with COVID-19. Typed comments will be lost if you are not logged in. 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