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Grand Marshal

Sr. Laura Donovan, RDC

A life-long resident of White Plains,  Sr. Laura Donovan, RDC, is serving her second term as President of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion (RDC).  Sister has been engaged in the RDC mission and educational ministries for over 50 years.


Born in Geneva, N.Y., Sr. Laura’s family moved to White Plains when she was three years old.  She has a life-long connection with the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, having attended St. Bernard’s Elementary, Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, and Good Counsel College/ College of White Plains.  During her teens and twenties, Sister worked for the Department of Recreation & Parks in White Plains.

Sr. Laura earned a B.S. in Science from Good Counsel College/College of White Plains, an M.S. in Religious Education/Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, Chicago, and an M.S. in Secondary School Science from Villanova University, and a professional diploma in School Administration and Supervision, grades 7 – 12, from Manhattan College. Sr. Laura also holds New York State Certification in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, General Science, and Secondary School Administration.

Sr. Laura entered the Divine Compassion Congregation in 1969. In 1973, Sister began her ministry in teaching at St. Lawrence O’Toole Elementary School in Brewster, NY.  She was re-assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel Academy High School in 1975. During Sister’s 50-year ministry in education as a teacher, she also served as the Science Department Chairperson and Dean of Students at Preston High School in the Bronx and Good Counsel Academy High School (GCA) in White Plains.  Sr. Laura served as Principal of GCA from 2011 to 2015.

In her role as President of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion since 2016, Sister has worked diligently with the RDC Leadership Team and Sisters to develop and prioritize initiatives, including reclaiming the mission of the Congregation, expanding its spirituality, developing a comprehensive Health Care Plan, addressing housing, and developing guidelines and implementation for life transitions, governance, technology and stewardship. Additionally, Sr. Laura and the RDC Leadership Team are preparing a pathway that will ensure the continuation of the mission and charism of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion.

Sr. Laura also remains dedicated to her home City of White Plains, and is very proud of her Irish heritage. Sisters’ maternal and paternal great, great grandparents hail from counties Cork, Roscammon and Sligo. Sister fondly reminisces about the wonderful times celebrating and marching in the White Plains and New York City St. Patrick’s Day parades, as well as times shared with Sisters, family and friends, enjoying traditional Irish music and dancers, especially at the parade installations and the RDC Counseling Center’s Friendly Gatherings.

Sister attributes her faith and vocation to her family, her education and her Irish heritage, which has been passed down from generation to generation and naturally focuses on community and compassion to make the world a better place.

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