Sister Donovan

Obituary of Sister Donovan

Born: Bernice Anne Donovan on August 17, 1928 in Utica, NY.

Died: August 17, 2015 in the Healthcare Center of the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany, NY.

Daughter of Gerald F. and Anne O�Hare Donovan of Utica, NY.

She was received into the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse on August 15, 1947 and professed her final religious vows on August 16, 1954. The Mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany energized her life for more than 65 years.

Growing up in Utica, Sr. Mary Lourdes attended grade school from 1934-42 at the Blessed Sacrament and spent her high school years at Utica Catholic Academy, graduating in 1946. After joining the congregation, she pursued college courses at St. Elizabeth Teacher's College (now part of St. Bonaventure University) in Allegany, NY while also serving as a student X-ray Technician at St. Francis Hospital in Olean, NY. She went on to study at Villanova University in Villanova, PA from 1952-61, earning her B.A. degree. During that time, she also served as the X-ray Supervisor at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Camden, NJ. Her past assignments in the medical field had nurtured a fascination for hospital administration, which she chose to further with studies at St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, earning her M.H.A. in 1963.

Sister focused her ministry in the field of hospital administration. From 1963-71, she served as Assistant Administrator and Administrator of St. Anthony�s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL and served on the Board of Trustees of the Florida Hospital Association while there. She later served as Administrator of St. Joseph Villa in Catskill, NY. Over the years, her experience was further called upon, as she accepted calls to serve as President of Corporations of several Health Care facilities and sat on several Board of Trustees. Sister served as Provincial of St. Joseph Province, Tampa, FL and as General Minister of the Congregation. Sr. Mary Lourdes was instrumental in establishing Hope House in 1992, a drop-in hospitality center and shelter for the homeless in Utica which had a positive impact on many lives. In 1994 she accepted a new assignment, serving as Administrator of the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany, NY where she steadfastly served until 2002. She will always be remembered for her special care and great attention of the retired sisters. When family need arose, Sr. Mary Lourdes relocated to Utica, residing for several years with her younger sister, Sr. Geraldine as they provided care for their older brother, Bill. In time, they were both warmly welcomed home to the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse.

Sr. Mary Lourdes was predeceased by her parents and a brother, Msgr. William J. Donovan. She is survived by her sisters, Sr. Bernadette Mary and Sr. Geraldine (formerly, Sr. Maria Vianney) and a brother, Rev. J. Michael Donovan.

A Wake Service is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in the Chapel at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, Allegany, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 20, 2015 in the Chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, followed by burial in St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany, NY.

The funeral arrangements are under the direction of Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc. 646 East State Street, Olean, New York.