Msgr. Walter Donovan, RIP

"May the Angels lead you into paradise"


  1. Msgr. Walter Donovan, 96, served Catholics in Georgia for close to 70 years. He died on Sunday, July 22, leaving a legacy of parishes and schools where he served.
  2. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory celebrated the Mass, accompanied by scores of priests and deacons. 
  3. Archbishop Gregory praised the New York native in his homily for being a faithful priest who arrived in the mission territory of Georgia to foster the faith. 
  4. During his time as the founding pastor at St. Joseph Church, Athens, from 1948 to 1960, he started the first accredited Catholic school in the state. In 2002, an independent Catholic high school was dedicated in Athens. The spirit of Msgr. Donovan continued to live in the community, many years after he left, that the high school was named in his honor. 
  5. Msg. Donovan arrived in Georgia when Catholics were few in number, estimates range around 30,000. He served the people, with the new understanding that Jesus brings to the world, said the archbishop. 
  6. The All Saints Resurrection Choir lead the congregation in song. Here's an except from "Gentle Voice" during Communion.  
  7. At the end of Mass, the priests and the archbishop leave the church first. They waited for their fellow priest and sing a song of praise and prayer, "Salva Regina."
  8. At the Msgr. Walter Donovan Funeral
  9. Please read more about Msgr. Donovan's legacy in the August 2 edition of the Georgia Bulletin.