Sister Mary Lourdes Donovan, OSF, 1928-2015

Fri, Aug 21st 2015 01:00 pm

Sister Mary Lourdes Donovan, a Franciscan Sister, died Aug. 17, 2015, in the health care center of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany, on her 87th birthday.

The former Bernice Anne Donovan was born Aug. 17, 1928, in Utica, to Gerald F. and Anne (O'Hare) Donovan. She joined the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in 1947, professing final vows in 1954. She attended St. Elizabeth Teachers College, now St. Bonaventure University, and served as an X-ray technician at St. Francis Hospital in Olean while attending college classes.

From 1952-61, Sister Mary Lourdes took classes at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, where she earned a bachelor's degree while serving as an X-ray supervisor at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, N.J. She went on to receive an MHA from St. Louis University in Missouri.

She was an assistant administrator and administrator at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., from 1963-71, during which she was also a member of the board of trustees of the Florida Hospital Association. She also served as an administrator of St. Joseph Villa in Catskill.

During her ministry serving in hospitals, Sister Mary Lourdes was named president of corporations of several different hospitals and served on their boards of trustees. She became provincial head of the order's St. Joseph Province in Tampa, Fla., and the congregation's general minister.

In 1992, Sister Mary Lourdes founded Hope House, a homeless shelter and care center in Utica. She began serving as administrator of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in 1994, where she remained until 2002, moving home to Utica for several years to care for her ailing older brother before returning to Allegany.

She is survived by two sisters, Sister Bernadette Mary and Sister Geraldine, formerly known as Sister Maria Vianney, and a brother, Father J. Michael Donovan.

A funeral Mass was held in the chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, with burial in St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany.


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