Sr. Ann Virginia Donovan (1923-2020)

We pray in gratitude for the life of our Sister Ann Virginia Donovan who died on May 6, 2020, at the age of 96. A Sister of Notre Dame for seventy-nine years, Ann ministered in both elementary and high schools sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She served as teacher, principal, religious education coordinator, librarian and computer coordinator. Over the years, Ann was well-loved by her students and their families many of whom remained in touch with her long after she left her ministry as an educator.

A graduate of St. Gregory's in Dorchester, MA, she was part of a large and vibrant Irish American family which included her six siblings plus seventeen nieces and nephews and their children with whom she enjoyed many family events and holidays. She was known for her infectious laugh, her wisdom, and her kind smile. She had many close friends among the Sisters with whom she lived. They remember her sunny disposition, her skill as an educator, her sense of humor and her deep faith.

Sister Ann Virginia was born in Boston, a beloved daughter of the late Peter James and Annie Veronica (Nicholson) Donovan. Sister Ann (Mary, Aunt Mary as her family called her) was a graduate of Saint Gregory's High School in Dorchester. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on August 10, 1940. Sister Ann made her final vows on July 30, 1948.

She graduated from Emmanuel College in 1957, earned a Masters in Education at Salem State University in 1962 and a Masters in Religious Education at Fairfield University in 1976. Sister Ann in her work as an educator, and her decades of service to Notre Dame affiliated schools, spent her years in the role of Teacher, Principal, Religious Ed Coordinator at both elementary and high school levels, Librarian/Computer Coordinator. She was a treasured presence in her students and their family's lives over the years, and many remained in touch with her long after her leaving her role as an educator.

Sister Ann Virginia was also the beloved sister of her siblings, John, Peter, Thomas, Francis Donovan and Isabelle (Donovan) Hayes and Eleanor (Donovan) Leonard, where she grew up in the family home on Idaho Street, Mattapan before taking her vows as a Sister of Notre Dame.

Sister Ann Virginia was part of a very large and vibrant Irish American family, having close relationships with many of her cousins, and the extended family which includes 17 nieces and nephews, many of whom she would enjoy family events and holidays with over her long life. She was known for her infectious laugh, her wisdom, her kind smile, and for providing so much love and care and helping those around her.

Sister Ann Virginia also had the good fortune in her long life to see her 17 nieces and nephews, many of them marry and have families of their own. Sister Ann was a constant presence to those young children's lives, helping them with homework, reading, bouncing babies on her knees. She truly loved spending time with her grandnieces and nephews as well!

Sister Ann Virginia Donovan also had many close relationships with her Sisters in Notre Dame, who remember her fondly for her sunny disposition, infectious laugh and her dedication to her life of faith.

Sister Ann is buried at Calvary Cemetery, Roslindale.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Sister Ann's memory can be made to Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 351 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149.