Sr Mary Aidan Donaldson rsm
Sister Mary Aidan Donaldson, RSM
Sarah Donaldson, known in Religion as Sister Mary Aidan, was born in 1908 in Newry County Down, Ireland. This region is close to Rostrevor, an area well known to President Mary McAleese. Sister Aidan went to the United States in February 1927 to begin her life as a Sister of Mercy.
On arriving in Mobile, she was met by two sisters from the Convent of Mercy. Her assignment in September was to St. Joseph School to help teach small children. Her profession has been teaching and administration during her active years in schools and in the evenings coaching adults in reading. In her educational journey she ministered in schools in Birmingham, Huntsville and Bessemer, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida. as well as St. Mary’s, Joan of Arc and St. Ignatius in Mobile. She has served many roles in Saint Ignatius parish – pastoral minister, coordinator of the pastoral transportation committee and moderator of the Legion of Mary.
At age 89 she announced her retirement from active teaching and started a new and rewarding vocation – the art of water-color painting under the tutelage of a former eighth grade student.
After her 95th Birthday, twenty of her floral paintings were shown in an exhibit entitled, “Praising God’s Beauty,” and twenty were sold.
Sister Mary Aidan has touched the lives of many children and adults in Alabama and Florida, exemplifying the legacy of Catherine McAuley. Although retired, Sister Mary Aidan still ministers at Portier Place, a residential community of Mercy Medical,where she leads a weekly communion service for the residents. She also ministers to the sisters at Convent of Mercy, where she lives, and will be one of the first to welcome and assist visitors with her Irish and Southern charm. In her own words she states, “ God has truly blessed me.”
Sister Mary Aidan celebrates her 100th birthday on 20 August 2008 at Convent of Mercy, Mobile, Alabama. The day will begin with Mass at 8:30am for the sisters, followed by Open House from 9:30 to 11:30am and again from 4:30 to 7:30pm.
Carol Wheeler rsm