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Jeremiah Donovan, SJ papers

Collection BC-2005-106: Jeremiah Donovan, SJ papers


  • Creation: 1934-1989

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of notes and writings on theological subjects by Jeremiah Donovan, SJ. The notes contain materials he drew on for leading retreats and for writing sermons. The writings contain short sermons or reflections on Gospel passages, as well as a biographical sketch of John Bapst, SJ, and an article submitted for publication. The materials are arranged according to Donovan’s topical filing system, though individual documents show evidence of Donovan’s constant revising and reshuffling of these topics. This revision is also reflected in his multiple overlapping and cross-referenced topical indexes. Many materials are written on the backs of Hebrew worksheets and other handouts from Donovan’s teaching. The personal materials include notes from a personal Examen Donovan undertook while at Weston College, as well as historical and genealogical information about his mother’s family.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

Jeremiah Donovan, SJ, was born on June 18, 1910, in East Kingston, New Hampshire, to Mary Tobin Donovan. He had five older siblings: Mary, Katharine, Margaret, James, and Patrick. In 1931, Donovan graduated from the University of New Hampshire and entered the Society of Jesus, then spent two years at St. Andrew’s novitiate in Poughkeepsie, New York. He studied philosophy and theology at Weston College, where he was ordained a priest in 1942. Prior to ordination, he taught psychology at Boston College for two years. From 1945 to 1948, he taught classics and German at Fairfield University Preparatory School, and the same two subjects later at the College of the Holy Cross. He was named dean of men at Holy Cross in 1950 and was appointed minister for the Jesuit communities at Holy Cross and Shadowbrook in Lenox, Massachusetts, from 1955 to 1959. Donovan joined the Boston College faculty as a professor of theology and Hebrew in 1959, and taught at Boston College until 1975. He continued to tutor in Hebrew long after his formal retirement. Donovan died on January 30, 1992, of a pulmonary illness at Campion Center in Weston, Massachusetts.


Boston College Biweekly, Volume 12, Number 11, 13 February 1992.

“Rev Jeremiah Joseph Donovan,” Find A Grave, accessed November 2, 2023.


2.75 Linear Feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



Consists of notes and writings on theological subjects created by Boston College theology professor Jeremiah Donovan, SJ.


Arranged in three series: I. Notes; II. Personal materials; and III. Writings.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time. It is likely that these papers were transferred to Burns Library by the Campion Center in the early 1990s.

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  • Clippings from America magazine
Jeremiah Donovan, SJ Papers
Elizabeth Peters
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Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States