Father Robert C. Donovan, 74

POCASSET, Mass. — Father Robert C. Donovan, 74, a much-loved Catholic priest serving the Fall River Diocese for 40 years, most recently as third pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Pocasset, passed away on Dec. 30, 2016. 

Father Donovan was the son of the late Dr. Robert Joseph Donovan and the late Mary Henrietta (McCarthy) Donovan of Brookline and of Marshfield.

Father Donovan attended St. Mary of the Assumption elementary and high schools in Brookline. He prepared for the priesthood at Newman Preparatory School in Boston, at St. Philip Neri School for delayed vocations, at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, and at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Md. He was ordained in the Fall River Diocese in 1970 by Bishop James L. Connolly. 

In his career, he served parishes in Attleboro, Hyannis, Wareham, North Dighton and for 20 years in Pocasset.

Father Donovan was pre-deceased by his brother Edward and his sisters Katherine Cullen and Dorothy MacDonald. He is survived by five siblings: Mary Louise Ruth (and husband Vincent) of Dennis; Elizabeth Carroll (and husband George) of South Yarmouth; Frances McManus (and husband Terence) of Mount Sinai N.Y.; Clare Schwelm (and husband Frederick) of South Yarmouth; and William Donovan (and wife Claire) of South Yarmouth. He also leaves many dear nieces, nephews, their children, and many wonderful friends and faithful parishioners. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Father Donovan may be made to Catholic Memorial Home at 2446 Highland Avenue in Fall River, Mass. 02720.

Visitation will be held 3 to 7 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, and the wake will conclude with a vigil service by Father Greg Mathias, vicar general of the Diocese of Fall River.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church, 841 Shore Road in Pocasset, presided over by Father Greg Mathias with Father David C. Frederici, current pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, serving as homilist. Collation will immediately follow Mass in the parish hall and interment will be private. 

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home of Bourne, Mass.

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