Attended, St. Joseph Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bachelor, St. Gregory Seminary, Cincinnati, 1946. Postgraduate, Mount St. Mary Seminary of West, Cincinnati.
Juris Canonici Licentiatus, Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, 1957.
He served as the first bishop of the Diocese of Kalamazoo in the state of Michigan from 1971 to 1994. His seminary studies had been at Saint Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Saint Gregory Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Norwood, Ohio. On June 15, 1971 Pope Paul VI named him the first bishop of the newly created Diocese of Kalamazoo.
He was consecrated on July 21, 1971 by Cardinal John Francis Dearden of Detroit.
The co-consecrators were Bishops Alexander M. Zaleski of Lansing and Michael Joseph Green of Reno. He choose as his episcopal motto: "To Serve Rather Than Be Served." He was the diocesan bishop in Kalamazoo for 23 years, retiring in 1994 for health reasons.
Bishop Donovan, 86 years old, was found dead on Thursday, April 27, 2011, outside of his vehicle following a minor accident in Wayland Township. Foul play was not suspected.
Allen Henry Vigneron, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan, was the principal celebrant at the Wednesday, May 4, 2011 Funeral Mass in the Diocese of Kalamazoo"s Saint Augustine Cathedral.
Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, was the homilist. The Funeral Mass was also attended by Archbishop Vigneron"s immediate predecessor, Adam Joseph Cardinal Maida, the retired Cardinal Archbishop of Detroit. Burial followed at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kalamazoo.
Board of directors Family Services and, Michigan Children's Aid.