Sister Annette Covatta, SNJM

(Eleanor Covatta)

August 30, 1928 – January 13, 2020

Sister Annette Covatta, SNJM departed this life on January 13, 2020 at Marie Rose Center, Mary’s Woods at Marylhurst in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Sister Annette celebrated 91 years of life and 71 years of her religious profession.

Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday, February 21, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at Chapel of the Holy Names, Lake Oswego, Oregon. 

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at the Academy of the Holy Names, 1075 New Scotland Road, Albany, New York.

Burial will take place following the funeral at Calvary Cemetery, Glenmont, New York.

 Sister Annette Covatta, SNJM

Eleanor Covatta

August 30, 1928 – January 13, 2020

Sister Annette (born Eleanor) Covatta was born on Aug. 30, 1928, to Annette Graziade Covatta and Nicholas Covatta in Troy, New York. Annette died gently and peacefully on January 13 at the Marie-Rose Center, Mary’s Woods at Marylhurst, Lake Oswego Oregon. Her funeral was celebrated on February 21, in Chapel of the Holy Names, Marylhurst, Oregon. Following a Memorial Mass at the Academy of the Holy Names, Albany, New York, on April 25, 2020, she will be interred in Calvary Cemetery, Glenmont, New York.

Sister Annette is survived by her sister Mary Beth DiToro (New Hampshire). Her sister Marilyn Covatta Christian and her brother Nicholas Covatta pre-deceased her.

Since Annette showed extraordinary musical talent, her parents sent her to the Academy of the Holy Names in Albany, New York, to begin intensive piano lessons. Annette continued her education at the Academy of the Holy Names until her graduation from high school in 1946.

After graduation, she entered the Sisters of the Holy Names in Montreal, Quebec. Annette’s ministry in her younger years was in the music departments of our SNJM Academies in Albany, New York, and in Sacred Heart Academy, Tampa, Florida. Her time was spent in teaching piano, directing glee clubs, and producing musical performances involving students of all grade levels.

Annette produced and directed an album, “To love is to Listen” by a group of young SNJMs and gave concerts with Sister Xavier Mary Courvoisier, a violinist, and with Sister Janet Walton.

Annette earned her Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA) in 1965 from Boston University.

In the 1960s, she envisioned and oversaw the creation of the performing arts center on the Albany campus of the Academy of the Holy Names. For many years, this Arts Center provided a contemporary space for musical, dramatic, historical and cultural performances.

In the 1970s, Annette was selected to serve as leader of the New York province, which extended from Albany, New York, through the District of Columbia and Maryland, all the way to Key West, Florida. Upon completion of that role, Annette was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo for a three-year position on the New York State Council on the Arts. For this position she moved to New York City.

After finishing her term on the Council, she continued to live in New York City for a decade. In those years, she integrated her love for musical performance with her practices of human and spiritual development.

She excelled in the leadership of the “intensive journal process” of Ira Progoff. She accepted many national and international invitations to lead groups in the intensive journal process.

She designed a holistic program called FULCRUM—a collection of centering workshops and retreats.

In the early 2000s Annette, at the invitation of Paul Ilecki and Doug Roberts, moved to Colorado to share intentional community with a number of lay people, families, and members of religious communities.

In 2009 after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she chose to move to Mary’s Woods in Lake Oswego, Oregon. During her 10 years in Oregon Annette made many friends including Sister Kate St. Martin and initially continued to give short concerts. Even as her memory faded she continued to be a vibrant presence with her engaging smile, hearty laugh, her intense gaze and her engaging nonverbal communication with staff and her resident companions.

If you wish, memorials in Sister Annette’s honor may be sent to Sisters of the Holy Names, 1121 New Scotland Rd., Albany, NY, 12208.