Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Donna

Sister Donna                          ND 4950                        PDF Download

(formerly Sister Mary Rachel)

Donna Katherine GALETOVICH

Immaculate Conception Province, USA

Date and Place of Birth:             November 17, 1931     Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:   August 16, 1957           Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:           September 28, 2022   Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:           September 30, 2022   Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon

Donna Katherine was welcomed by her parents, Justo and Frances (Clarich) Galetovich, her older brother and sister, and was surrounded by a loving family where faith, responsibility and joy were nurtured. Her rich heritage was a source of great pride; she traveled twice with her family to Yugoslavia. She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel Elementary School and James Ford Rhodes High School both in Cleveland. At both schools Donna enjoyed happy days and participated in as many clubs and activities as possible; she had an enthusiasm for life and made life-long friends.

After high school graduation, Donna began college classes at Ohio University in Athens, but then transferred to Notre Dame College in South Euclid where she earned a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in sociology. As in previous years, Donna became involved in many activities, the most important of which was her work in the Sodality. As she recognized and responded to God’s call to religious life, Donna was grateful for all she had experienced with family, friends, activities and in her classes. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame as a postulant on September 8, 1954. At investment she received the name Sister Mary Rachel.

Her career in elementary education began when she was a postulant, teaching first grade, but was most effective with junior high students. For twenty-seven years she taught and guided students at schools in Ohio and Virginia. Sister Donna had a passion for Catholic education. She loved children and nurtured every aspect of their development. With a master’s degree in educational administration from St. John College in Cleveland, Sister ministered for fifteen years as an elementary school principal. She strove to create a faith-filled environment where each person could grow and thrive. Sister was approachable and totally supportive of her teachers and staff. Her understanding and compassionate heart was open to all. She was dedicated to the needs of each parish where she served, and reached out to the greater civic community as well.

After concluding her ministry in schools, Sister Donna spent nine years as a teacher mentor and assessor with the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Cleveland and nine years preparing adult learners to earn their high school equivalency credentials. She was delighted to share her wisdom and experience with beginning teachers and with those adults with a desire to learn. Always aware of the poor, Sister was an advocate to influence political decisions that would bring an end to poverty.

Whether ministering as teacher, principal, mentor or tutor, Sister Donna’s joy and enthusiasm for life were unmistakeable. All creation was a sign of God’s loving presence. For many years she met the challenge of congestive heart failure with patient courage and a peaceful presence. Sister was health conscious and did all she could to remain well and strong; walking, jazzercize, family picnics and celebrations renewed her energy. Her gentle kindness and prayer were extended to all, especially to the family she loved so dearly.We are grateful for the gift of her life.

May she rest in peace.

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