Sister Rose Bernard Donna, CSJ
Sister Rose Bernard Donna, CSJ, 97, died Wednesday, October 4, at Albany Medical Center. Sister Rose Bernard had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 77 years.
Sister Rose Bernard, the former Mary Agnes Donna, was born April 29, 1909, in Dalton, MA, daughter of the late John and Anna Williams Donna. After graduating from PittsfieldHigh School and attending The College of Saint Rose for one year, Sister Rose Bernard entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1929 and professed final vows in 1934. She received a bachelor’s degree in English and Latin from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree and doctorate in English from The Catholic University of America. In addition, Sister Rose Bernard pursued post-doctoral studies in medieval literature at WesternMichiganUniversity. In Sister Rose’s early years as a Sister of St. Joseph, she taught in high schools in the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses. For 44 years, she taught English and Latin at The College of Saint Rose. Sister Rose translated from Latin the complete letters of St. Cyprian for publication by Catholic University Press in 1965.
A recognized medieval scholar, brilliant teacher and strong believer in the transcendent value of literature, Sister Rose Bernard was an iconic figure to generations of students at The College of Saint Rose. A dedicated Sister of St. Joseph, she touched her religious congregation with her indomitable spirit, her unceasing interest in community affairs and her deep faith.
Sister Rose Bernard is survived by her sister, Christine Donna, of Pittsfield, MA, by her nephew and niece-in-law, John and Mary Ellen Donna, of Lanesboro, MA, by several other nieces and nephews and their families, and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She was predeceased by her brothers, John, James and Robert, by her sisters, Marguerite and Catherine, and by many beloved friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Rose Bernard’s funeral Liturgy was held Saturday, October 7, from the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds.
Contributions in Sister Rose Bernard’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY12110.