Saturday, August 23, 2008

Father Kevin Donovan SJ RIP

Father Kevin died suddenly in Cannizaro Wimbledon on Thursday 21st August 2008.
A wonderful priest and friend to many and an old boy of my own old school, Beaumont College.

He was a people's priest for the people. Amazingly talented; he
ran 8 London marathons and I was privileged enough to run a couple
with him in the Jesuit Missions' London Marathon team (wombles).
He invariably played the flute during his homilies to make
points musically as well as vocally. He could relate to
students at London University's Heythrop College, primary school children at the Ursuline Prep and Donhead and ordinary men and women he encountered in
or out of the pews.

He celebrated Mass at the Beaumont war memorial on Remembrance Sunday 2007
and in previous years when many OBs and their families were present.
He attended and spoke at many Beaumont Union annual dinners.

Most of all he was an amazingly
holy man who will be greatly missed by many in his community
parishioners friends, Beaumont old boys and myself.



  1. I knew him and I am shock by his death.. He will be terribly missed
    Sacred Heart Church seems heart broken.

  2. What a shock it was to read of Father Kevins death in my local paper. He was truely a wonderful man. We, my sons and I had the pleasure of his company at Sunday School for 2 years in the mid 90's and what an enjoyable experience it was. Which led to my sons being babtisted and myself being confirmed. He was such a humble man, open minded and so full of knowledge, not to mention his musical ability. We will miss him greatly.

    Lucy,Peter & James Everett

  3. Greetings anonymous; and Everett
    family. Thank for your comments
    I share all your thoughts about Father Kevin - he might
    have been pleased to die with his boots on.

  4. The following are extracts from the
    Jesuit Missions London Marathon 2000 team report:

    "...Jesuit Missions, mustered a motley ream of 30 victims for the race this year. Pride of Place in the team went to Fr Kevin Donovan SJ who, at the age of 68, was running his sixth marathon despite having asthma. His image rightfully graces the cover of this edition. One of his day jobs is as assistant priest of the Sacred Heart Parish, Wimbledon and he inspired many of the parishioners to support us...
    The day before the raceday was freez­ing cold and pour­ing with rain. However, on the day itself the rain stopped, the sun shone, and condi­tions were almost perfect - one of the benefits of having Fr Kevin Donovan on the team perhaps? Many of the 32,000 runners were running for charities. Maybe this benevolent spirit affects the crowd of onlookers in London, because even after people had cheered themselves hoarse for the world's elite runners, they continued for hours, to support the ama­teurs like us. The support was very vocal, but handshakes,sweets, slices of orange and even lollies were freely given to all along the way. Many musical instruments were played along the route to give us encour­agement. On one occasion a flautist in the crowd had his high notes answered in iden­tical form by a runner carrying his own flute. It took four hours twenty five min­utes for me to finish. However, who could forget the picture that evening on BBC2 TV of three Wombles dancing together as they crossed the finishing line.

    Alan's parents... hosted a party for the team at the Jesuit Missions Office that evening which was much appreciated by all. Fr Kevin final­ly arrived to great applause from both the party-goers and the congregation from the nearby 5pm Mass."

  5. I have just heard the sad news. Father Kevin married my husband & I 3 years ago..he was a wonderful man who was full of life and humour..he made our wedding such a fun occassion and had everyone laughing...he was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.

    Neil & Victoria Sutehall

  6. Greetings Neil & Victoria Sutehall

    Thank you for your comment. I share your sentiments.

    Father Kevin's early Saturday morning Masses at the Sacred heart Wimbledon were often celebrated
    with the congregation
    standing with him around the altar.
    That always felt rather special.
    His last litugical celebration
    was a wedding too.


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