Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MARYKNOLL, N.Y. – Maryknoll Sister Nancy Donovan died on March 17 at the Maryknoll Sisters Residential Care Unit. She was 78 years old and had been a Maryknoll sister for 60 years.

She was born on June 22, 1932, in Waterbury, a daughter of Elizabeth (Casey) Donovan and James Purtill Donovan. Her parents and her brother James predeceased her.

She graduated in 1950 from Sacred Heart High School and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Maryknoll Teachers’ College in 1956. She entered Maryknoll from Sacred Heart Parish in Hartford on Sept. 6, 1950, and professed her final vows on March 7, 1959, in Guatemala.

Sister Nancy worked in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico for almost 40 years, especially with indigenous people. She also spent several years in the United States doing mission education or mission awareness promotion.

She was assigned in 2001 to the Sisters Retirement Community in Monrovia, Calif., and transferred to the Maryknoll Center in 2003 because of her health. She then moved to the residential care community until her death.

Sister Nancy is survived by her three sisters, Irene Girouard of Fayetteville, N.C.; Mary Bennett of Hertford, N.C.; and Betty Garrard of San Jose, Calif.; and other relatives.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on March 23 in the main chapel of the Maryknoll Sisters Center.