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Thirst for knowledge


Sr Colleen Costello OP - Born: April 19 1936 | Died: November 25 2022

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Colleen Bridget Costello was born in Kapunda to Kathleen and Laurence and was a dearly loved sister of Kevin, Denis, Monica, Helen and Peter.

She attended St Rose’s School, Kapunda, and entered the Dominican novitiate at Stirling in 1956. For the family, visiting Colleen was something of an expedition. The return train trip from Kapunda to Adelaide in itself took some planning!

In later years Colleen took great delight in being able to be part of an extended family of nieces and nephews who all appreciated her visits and ongoing interest in them and their families.

Colleen was given the name Sr Mary Jerome and became involved in education, teaching in Dominican schools in Adelaide, Loxton and Ringwood, Victoria. Her 40 years of active ministry also included the role of parish associate at St Anthony’s, Edwardstown, and Our Lady of Victories, Glenelg.

When she retired from active ministry Colleen became a volunteer pastoral visitor at Calvary Mary Potter Hospice where her quietly reassuring presence was a great asset, valued by patients and staff.

Colleen was an avid reader. A well-worn atlas found alongside her chair was one of several symbols chosen at her funeral, a great reminder of her ‘desire to learn and to understand the world she lived in’. A chance to study in Rome also enabled Colleen to discover the delights of travel.

Other interests included classical music and gardening. In fact, Colleen’s very productive small patch of garden was a great delight to her in all seasons but especially after the recent spring rains.

As Bernadette Kiley OP commented in her reflection on Colleen’s life: “In all her endeavours, Colleen remained an explorer. Her great thirst for knowledge and her quest for wisdom marked her life as a Dominican.”

In difficult hospital times classical music seemed to enable her to enter into a more peaceful space.

Bernadette recalled the poet John Donne’s use of music as a symbol of his understanding of eternity – an image in which Donne sees himself joining the choir of saints where, as he says to his God, ‘I shall be made thy music’.

“A beautiful image for Colleen too as she enters into the mystery we call eternity,” Bernadette said.

“It’s an image of being at one with the Divine, an image of a self set free.”

– Sr Anne Dolan OP



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