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Donna Marie was the fourth of Agnes and Paul Davis’ ten children. Born on August 31, 1948 in Cincinnati, OH, she was baptized at St. Anthony Church and retained a special devotion to St. Anthony all of her life. Donna grew up in a home where religion was a priority. It was during these growing-up years that she developed a sense of caring for others as she assisted with the care of her siblings while her mother was ill.
Donna entered the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Carrollton, Ohio in 1966 and remained with them for 30 years. She was given the religious name Sr. Anthony and served at St. John’s Villa in Carrolton, OH, a ministry dedicated to assisting those who are developmentally disabled.
When the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity were in the process of re-organizing, Sr. Anthony sought another community and began the transfer process to our community. In June of 2000, Sr. Donna Marie professed her perpetual vows as a Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Sr. Donna Marie’s early impression – in her own words -- of living with the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth was one of “…much love, devoted to caring for families…to be like Jesus, Mary and Joseph.” When she began her ministry at Nazarethville in Des Plaines, IL, she felt like she was serving Jesus in her work each day with the sick and the dying.
As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Sr. Donna Marie enjoyed helping everyone. Later when Sr. Donna Marie became a resident at Nazarethville, she continued to help where she could, especially with the sisters and those who were dying. She didn’t want anyone to die alone and would spend hours praying at their bedside.
When asked about dying, Sr. Donna Marie wondered if anyone would be there with her in her last days. Sr. Donna Marie took ill rather suddenly on the evening of January 19 and never recovered despite attempts to bring her back to her previous condition. Though she could not speak and was often asleep, she was surrounded by sisters, friends, and family. She died peacefully without pain and without struggle on the morning of March 10. Her funeral Mass was celebrated March 13 at the Holy Family Convent chapel in Des Plaines. She was laid to rest at All Saints’ Cemetery.
If you would like to make a donation in memory of Sr. Donna Marie, click HERE.