BELMONT - Sister Mary Gerard Donovan, 89, died Saturday, Aug. 22, 2014, at Marian Center, Sacred Heart Convent, Belmont, N.C.
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Sister was born in Richmond Hill, Long Island, N.Y., one of four daughters of Julia Giusani and Jeremiah Donovan.
Sister Mary Gerard was first attracted to devoting her life to God as a child when her aunt, Mercy Sister Mary Monica Giusani, would visit her family and talk to her about it. After graduating from Wellington C. Mepham High School and working for 4 years in the Auditor's Office of the New York Telephone Company she made the decision to enter the Sisters of Mercy in Belmont, N.C. At this time she changed her name from Mary Monica to Sister Mary Gerard.
Sister Mary Gerard attended Sacred Heart Junior College, Belmont, N.C., Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, N.C., and Notre Dame University, South Bend, Ind., where she took graduate courses in Budgeting and Taxation. She earned a degree in Business Administration and Accounting Magna Cum Laude from the University of Guam.
Sister's wide range of educational credentials allowed her to serve in many ministerial capacities. She taught in Greenport Long Island; Salisbury, N.C.; Belmont, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C., and the Island of Guam. Prior to her teaching assignments, she worked in the finance office of Mercy Hospital, Charlotte, N.C. Sister spent 15 years in Guam where she served as Treasurer for the Guam Sisters of Mercy. This duty made her responsible for the overall business administration of the Sisters of Mercy on the island. She was also director of the Sisters' Formation Program.
Upon her return from Guam she assumed the duty of Treasurer of the Belmont Sisters of Mercy a position she held until her retirement. At the same time Sister Mary Gerard served as business office manager at Holy Angels Residential Facility for 11 years.
She was a member of Guam Chi Omicron Gamma Honor Society, an honorary member of Guam Chapter of Government Accounting Association, and a member of the National Conference of Religious Treasurers.
Sister was devoted to Holy Angels Residential Facility and she spent several years living in that residence. She was an adamant proponent of social justice and devoted much time to advocating for the poor and disenfranchised. She was known for her generosity and her compassion.
Sister is survived by the Sisters of Mercy and cousins. She is predeceased by her parents, three sisters, and her dear friend, Maria Morrow who was the first resident of Holy Angels.
Wake and Visitation: 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25, at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel
Mass of Christian Burial: 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel
Memorials may be sent to Sisters of Mercy South Central Community, 500 Sacred Heart Circle, Belmont, NC 28012.
Arrangements are entrusted with McLean Funeral Directors, Belmont.
McLean Funeral Directors
515 North Central Avenue
Belmont, NC 28012
Published in Gaston Gazette on Aug. 24, 2014