‘How Many Of Us Will Be Left?’ Catholic Nuns Face Loss, Pain

Sister Rose Nellivila sits for morning prayer at St. Anne Home in Greensburg, Pa., where she serves as a nurse for residents of the nursing facility, on Thursday, March 25, 2021. Nellivila contracted the coronavirus last fall and made a full recovery, but a fellow nun, Sister Mary Evelyn Labik, died in October. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)

(AP) — Communities of Catholic nuns are absorbing devastating losses from outbreaks of the coronavirus. The Felician Sisters lost 21 of their own, in four U.S. convents, a remarkable blow for a community of about 450 women. The sisters lost to COVID-19 collectively served 1,413 years. These were women who held the hands of the dying and who raised the unwanted. They taught science and grammar and, through their own example, faith. Now, as vaccines have returned some surviving sisters’ lives to normal, they’re facing the wrenching grief of their losses and questioning what it all means.


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