Clearly, Sr. Kathleen Mary Donohue has a good sense of humor as she is a life-long Boston Red Sox fan while living in “New York Yankee country” as she calls it where she has spent the majority of her 50 years as an Ursuline Sister. Her vocation, born in “Red Sox Country” in Norwich, CT, developed from her rich involvement in her parish growing up. It was there that she began to consider a religious vocation when her pastor told her that only three things were necessary to be a religious: the desire to serve God, good health and intelligence. She thought “well I have all three so perhaps that is a possibility”. Yet, she “put it away” through high school.
When it came time for then Kathleen Mary to go to college, it was her mother who made a pivotal choice by sending her college application to the College of New Rochelle which is where she first experienced the Ursulines. She was drawn to the sisters because of their fidelity and joy. She always heard laughter coming from their residence which was just across from hers. Her vocation was beginning to take shape.
However, the defining moment of her life came when her younger brother was killed in the Vietnam War leaving her elderly parents with only Kathleen Mary who took a more active role in caring for them. Even after joining the Ursulines, her superiors were very considerate in encouraging Sr. Kathleen Mary to care for her parents. This helped to define the direction of her ministry as she realized it would include teaching and health care. She “absolutely loved teaching” yet she understood the importance of caring for the elderly from her experience with her parents. Her education reflected these experiences. She earned a BS in History, an MS in Gerontology, an MA in Elementary Education and a MA in Religious Education. She taught at Blessed Sacrament School and The Ursuline School in New Rochelle (where she currently serves as Testing Room teacher) as well as the Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, DE.
Sr. Kathleen Mary found much joy in her beloved teaching in New Rochelle, NY as well as Wilmington, DE. She taught at Blessed Sacrament School and The Ursuline School in New Rochelle as well as serving as a trustee at the Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, DE.
She has also served in various administrative roles in education including as an Assistant Principal, as Peer Ministry/Mission Effectiveness Coordinator, Business/Development Director, and now as a Testing Room teacher. Within the Ursuline communities, she has served as plant manager, administrator and superior for the Marian Residence, administrative assistant at the Ursuline Provincialate, and superior of the Community at Bedford Park, Bronx, and Andrus-on-Hudson. She also provides pastoral ministry to family members as the Clergy Liaison at the Lucchese Funeral Home, Bronx, NY.
Sr. Kathleen Mary shared that one of her favorite passages of Scripture is “I alone know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” which grounds her ministry throughout half a century. Reflecting further, she stated “it has been a magnificent life as the Ursulines have been great to me. It has been a hard life at times but one that reaps great rewards.”