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Dody H. Donnelly Papers
GTU 2009-8-02  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Index

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Dody H. Donnelly papers
    Dates: 1930-2007
    Collection number: GTU 2009-8-02
    Creator: Donnelly, Dody H.
    Collection Size: 5 linear feet (4 archive record boxes and three cassette boxes), online: 3 images, 1 lecture, 2 articles, 1 poem
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: Manuscript and audio visual collection of Dody H. Donnelly (June 29, 1920 - 2013), a professor at several seminaries within Graduate Theological Union and Catholic leader in women's rights, organization and prison reform. In 1971 she became the first full time woman professor at Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union.
    Physical location: 7/E/1-2
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Dody H. Donnelly papers, GTU 2009-8-02. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    Dody H. Donnelly donated 8 boxes of materials on August 24 and 26, 2009.

    Biography / Administrative History

    "The essence of being human is learning how to love," she said. "Prayer is a relationship, a love affair...Change your image of God to God as lover. God is in the act of constant seduction--we are in the act of constant resistance." (quoted in Mark I. Pinsky, "For an Ex-Nun, a 'Radical' Approach to Sex and Spirituality," Los Angeles Times, October 19, 1985, Part II, 15.)
    Dody [Dorothy] H. Donnelly (June 29, 1920 - ) became the first full time woman professor at Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union in 1971. She served as professor at several seminaries within Graduate Theological Union and was a Catholic leader in women's rights, world tourism, organization and prison reform.
    Donnelly grew up in San Francisco where she attended Corpus Christi (grade) School and Ecole Notre Dame des Victoires (secondary school). After graduation in 1938, she joined the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange as Sister Gertrude Joseph Donnelly. She received an AB in English Literature, Dominican College of San Raphael (1950); MA and Ph.D. in the classics, Catholic University of America (1962); Fullbright Scholarship, American Academy, Rome, Italy (1962); and Th.D., Pacific School of Religion (1973). In 1968, she received considerable press as the first Catholic nun to live on campus at a Protestant seminary.
    In 1971, while working towards her Th.D. at Pacific School of Religion, she became a full time professor at Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. She later taught at San Francisco Theological Seminary, Starr King School for the Ministry, Pacific School of Religion, Holy Names University and the Fromm Institute. She served as director of a Lilly Foundation grant for Religious Formation at PSR. During the eighties, she left the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange but continued as an associate with the order.
    Donnelly served as consultant to pastoral and educational organizations concerned with program design and team building. She led retreats and workshops, as she writes, "with a focus on ecological theology and a cosmic, earth centered spirituality." She was active in Amnesty International, Center for Responsible Tourism and training those who help train and teach prisoners. She was a founding member of Broken Bud, an organization fighting child prostitution in World Tourism. She became particularly interested in Western mysticism during the later part of her career.
    Her books include Radical Love-An Approach to Sexual Spirituality (1986), Team: Theory and Practice of Team Ministry (1977), Sister Apostle (1964), St. Thomas More's Responsio ad Lutherum -Introduction and translation from the Latin (1962), and How (1960).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains Dody H. Donnelly's articles and course and workshop related materials: outlines, handouts, audiotapes and videos.


    Collection arranged as Series 1, Biographical; Series 2, Writings and Drawings; Series 3, Courses and workshops; Series 4, Subjects; Series 5, Audiocassettes; and Series 6, Videos.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Sex--Religious aspects--Christianity.
    Monastic and religious life of women.
    Women in church work.
    Group ministry.
    Women seminarians--California--San Francisco Bay Area.
    Faculty--Theological seminaries.
    Women and religion.
    Theology--Study and teaching.
    Imprisonment--Religious aspects--Christianity.

    Donnelly, Dody H.
    Donnelly, Dorothy H.
    Donnelly, Gertrude Joseph
    Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange
    Center for Responsible Tourism