May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Rita Agnes Costello, CSJ

Sr. Rita Agnes Costello, CSJ, entered into eternal life on Sept. 23, 2022.

Mary Costello was born in Detroit, Michigan, on May 1, 1927, the daughter of John and Ellen (Martin) Costello. She was a member of St. Philip Neri Parish in Detroit at the time of her entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth on January 2, 1944. She received the name Sister Rita Agnes at her reception on July 2, 1944. She pronounced first vows on July 2, 1946, and final vows on July 2, 1949.

Sr. Rita Agnes Costello, CSJ
Sr. Rita Agnes Costello, CSJ

Sister Rita Agnes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Nazareth College and a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Wayne State University. For 45 years she taught in schools of the Congregation including: St. Agnes in Flint, Sacred Heart in Bangor, St. Joan of Arc in St. Clair Shores, St. Rose in Hastings, and St. Veronica in Eastpointe. Eight of these years were spent in School Administration. Sister Rita Agnes was an excellent primary grade teacher who touched the hearts of both students and parents by her joyful, gentle, compassionate personality. When she retired from teaching, Sister Rita Agnes responded to a strong inclination to work with our Sisters at Fontbonne Manor. She considered her years there as a Ward Clerk as “truly a blessing” since they provided the opportunity to minister to each sister on a personal level.

Sister Rita Agnes was a woman who related to the “dear neighbor” in a friendly, personal, positive manner. She possessed a unique quality that made each person she encountered feel very special and important and her loving presence touched their hearts. Sister Rita Agnes had deep faith and a very generous heart, going over and beyond the call of duty in responding to the needs of others, always giving of her time, talents and energy whenever and wherever there was a need. One of Sr. Rita Agnes’ favorite scripture quotes was: “God is love and she who abides in love abides in God and God in her.” (1Jn 4:15). It gave her great trust and confidence in God’s love for her and inspired her to grow deeper and deeper in her relationship to Him. Now that this love has reached its fulfillment may she truly enjoy the eternal reward promised to all good and faithful servants.

Sister is survived by several nephews and nieces: Chuck (Jeannie) Piotrowski, T.R. (Barb) Piotrowski, Tom (Anne) Costello, Tim (Mary) Binder, Lynne Costello, Patty Piotrowski, and Mary Jo (Terry) Pickelhaupt.

A private welcome home and sharing of memories took place Tuesday, Oct. 4, followed by a funeral Mass livestreamed from Holy Family Chapel at Nazareth Center, Kalamazoo. Burial of Cremains in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Nazareth Center immediately following the funeral Mass.

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.


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