Brooklyn Native Ordained Jesuit

Father Donovan
Father Donovan

A former high school teacher at two Queens Catholic schools has been ordained a Jesuit priest.

Father James T. Donovan, who taught at Christ the King R.H.S., Middle Village, and St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, is one of 16 Jesuit priests ordained this month in the U.S.

He was ordained at Fordham University, the Bronx, by Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Donato of Newark, N.J. He celebrated his first Mass on Sunday, June 9, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Malverne, L.I.

Born in Brooklyn, Father Donovan, the son of Marion Donovan and the late James T. Donovan, grew up in Malverne. His mother currently resides in Long Beach, L.I.

He attended Our Lady of Lourdes School, Malverne; Maria Regina Diocesan H.S., Uniondale, L.I.; and Le Moyne College, Syracuse, N.Y.

After graduation, he began his teaching career at St. Francis Prep, where he taught biology and chemistry for three years. In 1991, he earned a master’s degree in education from Fordham University and then joined the faculty at Christ the King R.H.S.

From 1993 to 2004, Father Donovan taught chemistry, biology and earth science at Garden City H.S., L.I., serving the last four years of his tenure as chair of the science department while earning a certificate of advanced studies in school administration from Hofstra University, Hempstead, L.I.

In 2004, he entered the Society of Jesus. Following the novitiate, he was missioned for philosophy and theology studies at Fordham University, where he also worked part-time in hospital ministry at Calvary Hospital, the Bronx, and tutored at the Cristo Rey New York H.S., Harlem. For regency, he taught chemistry and theology at Regis H.S., Manhattan.

During his years of formation, he also directed retreats at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos, Calif., and completed intensive training in spiritual direction. Ordained a deacon in 2012, he has served at St. Leo’s Church in Oakland, Calif., and San Quentin State Prison while earning his master of divinity degree at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, Calif.