Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
the Inland Register
(From the July 21, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)
Sister Mary Michael Costello, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, died July 2. She was 94 years old.
The funeral Mass is scheduled for St. Henry Church, Gresham, Ore., on July 28.
She was born in Spokane, the second of seven children. She joined the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wis., in 1934. In time she earned a B.A. in English from the Sisters’ Viterbo College and a Master’s degree in English from Marquette University.
Sister Mary Michael began her career in Sparta, Wis., teaching second graders. After two years, she moved back to La Crosse, where for 16 years she taught at Aquinas High School. She also helped with the staging of the many plays and musicals produced by the school’s Drama and Music departments.
Her next assignment took her to Bozeman, Mont., as the administrator and teacher of English and Drama at Rosary High School. In 1966, she was elected the FSPA Provincial for the Western United States, a territory that included Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Utah.
In 1973, in collaboration with the Formation Team and other provincials of the Order, a new community was established, approved by the Sacred Congregation for Religious in Rome, the “Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist (FSE),” headquartered in Meriden, Conn. Sister Mary Michael co-founded and lived until her death at the Order’s center in Bridal Veil, Ore.
Her life as a superior in the newly formed order started in Vancouver, B.C., as a parish volunteer at St. Jude Parish. In 1974, she moved to Portland, Ore., where she established a program for senior citizens at St. Ignatius Parish. She also collaborated with other members of the local FSE community to form The Life Education Center at Bridal Veil, as well as the Franciscan Montessori Earth School in east Portland, which currently has 300 students in grades preschool through 8th
She is survived by her brother, Jesuit Father Frank Costello of Spokane, and her sister, Therese Costello Hauer of Alameda, Calif.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, July 28, at 11 a.m., at St Henry Catholic Church in Gresham. The burial in the FSE community’s cemetery will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Sister Mary Michael may be made to the Franciscan Montessori Earth School and the FSE Formation House Building Fund (in Meriden), 14750 SE Clinton St., Portland, OR 97236.