(CNN) – Within a week, eight nuns living at Notre Dame de Elm Grove in Wisconsin died of COVID-19. They were all mentors in the community in their own way.
Notre Dame School Sisters confirmed the deaths of CNN daughter WTMJ, adding that the sisters died from complications caused by the virus.
“Each of our sisters is really important,” Sister Debra Sciano, provincial leader of the School Sisters of Notre Dame’s Central Pacific Province, told the news station. “Not just for us, but we feel like they’ve touched thousands of lives that we’ll never realize.”
The community was first established as an orphanage, but later became a home for elderly and ailing sisters, according to the School Sisters of Notre Dame website.
The deaths come several months after six nuns died of COVID-19 at Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Greenfield, which serves retired nuns from the School Sisters of San Francisco and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
The congregation said it has confirmed cases among the nuns living at the facility but did not disclose the number of infections, the branch said.
He added that the sisters have followed CDC guidelines, which include wearing masks, taking physical distance and washing hands regularly, the station reported.
“We are extremely careful about bringing their meals to the rooms and they cannot get together,” Sciano told the branch. “Twice a week more tests to detect the virus.”
Among the nuns who died of the virus was Sister Rose Feess, known for her “ability to teach, especially her attention to grammar and writing, her faith, her keen humor, and her love of cats,” Notre School wrote. Pass me from Milwaukee in a Facebook post.
Another, Sister Lillia Langreck, had been “deeply involved in social and racial justice efforts over the past 60 years,” the affiliate said, including the Milwaukee marches for nothing but homes and integrated transportation.
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.