Age 98

Sister Mary Brian Costello, RSM died peacefully at Mercy Circle on May 22. 

Born in 1924, Sister Brian entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1942. She is preceded in death by her parents William and Mary Costello and her three sisters.

Sister Brian received her BA from Saint Xavier University and her MA from University of Notre Dame.  She did post graduate work at Loyola University, Northwestern University and the University of Massachusetts and received Honorary Doctorates from Saint Xavier University, Felician College, Loyola University and Holy Cross College.

Sister Brian served in various educational ministries as both teacher and as administrator, including as principal of Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School.   In all of her ministries her focus was preparing young women for lives as competent Christian leaders.

Sister Brian served on the Sisters of Mercy Leadership Team from 1973 to 1979.

In 1983, Sister Brian was named the first woman and non-cleric Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago.  While serving as Superintendent Sister Brian was instrument in establishing The Big Shoulders Fund to assist center city schools. 

In 1989 Cardinal Joseph Bernardin named Sister Brian his Chief of Staff, a pioneering position for a woman and one she held until she retired in 1997.

Sister Brian received many awards, including the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education for her outstanding work establishing summer learning centers for economically disadvantaged children and innovative learning program for preschoolers.  In March, 2000 she was awarded the Pro Ecclesia medal by Pope John Paul II.

 Her legacy continues through the Sister Brian Costello Learning Resource Center at Mother McAuley and through a number of scholarships bearing her name.