Maryknoll Sister Elizabeth Donahue, 89

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Sister Elizabeth Donahue, a missioner to the Philippines, educator and administrator, died Jan. 10 at Maryknoll Sisters Home Care IV, Maryknoll. She was 89 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 65 years.

Born on Feb. 3, 1924 in Waterbury, Conn., to John and Loretta Murphy Donahue, Sister Elizabeth entered Maryknoll at their Motherhouse in Maryknoll, NY from Immaculate Conception Parish in Hartford, Conn. on Sept. 4, 1948, and made her Final Vows in Manila, the Philippines, on March 7, 1954.

A 1970 graduate of Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y., where she earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology, she also held an M.A. in social psychology from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, (1963) and a B.A. in social science from William and Mary College, Williamsburg, VA (1946).

She was also a 1941 graduate of Waterbury Catholic High School and a 1937 graduate of St. Mary’s Grammar School, also in Waterbury.

Prior to entering Maryknoll, Sister Elizabeth worked for the Girl Schools, first at the group’s Camp Edith Macy in Pleasantville, N.Y. from 1945-1947, and then at its Pernian Basin Area office in Pecos, TX from 1947-48.

Sister Elizabeth’s first assignment with Maryknoll was working in the congregation’s Mission Awareness Office from 1948-1953, after which she was sent overseas for the first time, teaching at Maryknoll College, Quezon City, the Philippines, from 1953-1965.

She then returned to the Motherhouse, where she joined the faculty of Mary Rogers College, teaching there until 1970. She was then named Central Personnel Director for the congregation, a position she held until 1973, followed by Director of Enrollment for Maryknoll School of Theology from 1974-1989.

From 1990- 2002, Sister Elizabeth spent time in her home parish in Hartford, caring for family members, helping plan her home parish’s 150th anniversary celebration, coordinating its Eucharistic Adoration Program and working with groups of children who suffered losses through divorce, separation or death.

She also helped plan the jubilee parish program for St. Joseph’s School, Waterbury, in 2000. She retired to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, N.Y. in 2002.

A Vesper service will be held for Sister Elizabeth on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 4:15 p.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Both will be held in the Annunciation Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. Burial will be in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery at Maryknoll, N.Y.. Dorsey Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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