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Locals | Anthony Donovan

anthony_donovan_rhoadesAnthony Rhoades Anthony Donovan.

For a man who says he isn’t religious, Anthony Donovan sure does spend a lot of time in churches. “I love entering these creative, beautiful spaces,” said Mr. Donovan. “I love the art.”

Mr. Donovan is the facilitator of Local Faith Communities, an ecumenical consortium of a dozen East Village religious leaders – from Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, Russian Orthodox traditions among others – that meets periodically to discuss issues facing their congregations and how they can work together to solve them.

On Tuesday evening, the group will host Spiritual Sounds, a free concert featuring music from different religious traditions, at 7 p.m. at the Catholic Church of the Most Holy Redeemer on East Third Street.

Mr. Donovan, who is 58 and has lived in the East Village since 1990, has no formal religious training yet believes strongly in the importance of people finding their common bonds through divergent faiths. His hair is more salt than pepper, and he speaks and listens with the measured calmness of a therapist. He recently sat down with The Local to talk about Local Faith Communities and how living in the East Village has informed his work.


Why did you start Local Faith Communities?


This all started because I’m tired of what goes on in the name of religion — the hate crimes that are happening in the world because of religion, the wars in the name of religion. Religion seems to be a very easy way to mobilize people for or against something.
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