Sister Mary Ann Donovan (Sr. Christopher Mary) was born in New York City on February 15, 1938 to John and Mary Clements Donovan. She was the eldest of four children
(John, Kathleen and Thomas). She attended Incarnation School and Blessed Sacrament High School before entering the Sisters of Charity on September 8, 1956.
Sister Mary Ann earned several degrees in her two favorite areas of study, Mathematics and Religion. She earned a BA in Math from The College of Mt. St. Vincent, an MA
in Catechetical Theology from Manhattan College, an ABD in Religious Education from Fordham University and continued her doctorate studies in Theology/Religious Studies
at Drew University in New Jersey.
While Mary Ann's first desire was to be a missionary her life path took another turn. She became an educator and spent all of her religious life in the classroom. She
often would say that she was "so fortunate" to have had "such wonderful teachers" as inspirations.
Her ministry in education took her from elementary school, to high school, to college and outreach programs. She taught in St. Joseph's School Yonkers, St. John the Baptist,
Brooklyn, St. Gabriel's, Bronx, Blessed Sacrament, Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Academy, all in Manhattan. She taught Math and Religion at St. Barnabas High School
from 1973 to 1990. She then taught Theology at Elizabeth Seton College and Mt. St. Michael High School. From 1993 to 2003 she taught at Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh
and Adult Education at St. Thomas of Canterbury Parish, Cornwall, NY. In 2007 she became an adjunct professor of Religious Studies at the College of Mt. St. Vincent and
volunteered at Casa Esperanza in Yonkers.
Sister Mary Ann said that her interest in religious studies began at an early age when she learned the Psalms alongside her very dear Protestant neighbors and her later
studies, especially at Drew University, which helped her to believe in the importance of ecumenism. After all, she claimed that, as a child, SHE taught Dr. McGraw, the
minister of the Fort Washington Presbyterian Church, how to make the sign of the cross.
Her sense of religion was an all encompassing one. She was a gentle woman, unafraid to be warm and loving and trusting. Her family, friends and students were recipients
of her innate sensitivity. As a dear friend has said, being with Mary Ann was always an adventure!
Sister Mary Ann loved life and she loved her work; her years at St. Barnabas High School, especially, helped her she said to understand even more “the God within each
of us.” Her laughter and sense of humor brought joy to many.
We thank our God for sharing Sister Mary Ann, with us, and we thank you, Mary Ann, for sharing your gentle spirit with us.
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