Sisters of the Past

Sister Lucy Mary Donovan

11 September 1879 - 8 June 1964

Profiled May 2012

Lucy_Donovan_2Through the sudden death of Sister Lucy at Hastings on June 8th 1964, the Sisters of St Joseph lost a devoted and exemplary religious and teacher. The cause of Catholic Education was the poorer for her passing, but her long life of dedication continued to be an inspiration to all who had been privileged to come under her influence.

Sister Lucy was born into the Donovan family in Whanganui on 11 September 1879, and baptised Mary. She grew up there, receiving both her Primary and Secondary education from the Sisters of St Joseph. She entered the Congregation on 13 January 1896, and was professed on 21 January 1898 as Sister Lucy.

She then began her life time ministry of education in many schools of the then Wellington Archdiocese, working particularly in Whanganui, Hastings, Otaki and Manaia.

Lucy was a woman of very deep spirituality and dedication to the work of education and the visitation of the poor and sick in their homes and in the hospitals. She endeared herself to hundreds of pupils and friends throughout New Zealand. As a young Sister she went to Hastings where, in all, she laboured for 27 years.

However her sterling qualities were soon recognised and after a few years she was recalled to Whanganui where in time she was elected Superior General. Subsequently she held various offices of responsibility serving as Councillor, local Superior, and principal of Sacred Heart College and St Mary’s School.

In her last twelve years, Sister Lucy taught at her beloved St Joseph’s College, later Tenison College, in Hastings. In spite of her venerable years, her natural gift of imparting knowledge and her great love of students never flagged. On the day of her death the Latin lesson was already prepared.

Requiem Mass was celebrated for Sister Lucy in the Sacred Heart Paarish Church in Hastings and the crowded congregation bore witness to the high regard in which Sister Lucy was held by all sections of the people. She was buried in the Hastings Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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