Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Maria Thereza Anna

Sister Maria Thereza Anna           ND 4453            PDF Download

(Formerly Sister Maria Aurora)

Thereza Anna COSTELLA

Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil

Date and Place of the Birth:           March 22, 1931             Col. Langaro, Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Profession:        February 13, 1951         Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Death:                December 08, 2019     Casa Betania, Não-Me-Toque, RS
Date and Place of Funeral:             December 9, 2019        Casa Santa Cruz, Passo Fundo, RS

“Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did to me.” Matthew 25:40

Thereza Anna is the daughter of David Costella and Maria Rovani Costella. Of this large family of 13 children, four became Franciscan Friars and four Sisters of Notre Dame. Her family was deeply religious and prayerful. The rosary, prayed together as a family, was a daily commitment at the end of the day. Also, the father read the Holy Scripture to the children and asked questions about it to make sure they had understood the content. This stimulated their love for God’s Word.

The family made a living from farming, and from an early age the children learned that work plays an important role in life. Thereza Anna loved to contemplate nature and sometimes she would pray in the middle of the cornfield. Her father, realizing her desire to become a sister, accepted her request to join the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. She entered the postulancy on February 02, 1948, in Passo Fundo, RS, where she also made her novitiate and all her formation for religious life. Sister made her first profession on February 13, 1951 and her perpetual vows on February 9, 1956.

Her many years of consecrated life were dedicated to free, joyful and zealous service to the sisters and to the people. Sister´s ministries were mainly in the kitchen, vegetable garden and general services around the house. In addition, she visited the sick and the elderly, participated in pastoral health care and in the apostolate of prayer groups. Sister M. Thereza Anna was one of the pioneers of the mission in Acre (1971-1972). For more than 40 years she ministered in Cruzeiro do Sul and Rio Branco, always joyful, smiling, tireless in service and in prayer.

The community in which Sr. M. Thereza Anna ministered gave the following testimonies: “She did not ‘control everything’, trying to do everything alone. There was a large group of lay people, leaders born from the spirituality of the CEBs (Base Christian Communities) and they all did a great job of evangelization. Every Friday, the community where sister ministered, sent a car to pick her up so that she could visit the sick at the hospital. There she spent the afternoons, in the company of Father Luiz Pieretti, ending their visits with the celebration of the Mass.”

“Sister M. Thereza Ann is an example for us. A woman who is simple, passionate, humble, brave, dedicated, kind, friendly; she was a mother, a teacher, and more. We met at the hospital and got to know each other. Always in a good mood, she waited for the transportation to go out and accomplish her mission. No one needed to wait for Sister, she was always waiting for us. You can’t imagine her dedication to the sick, especially the elderly.”

Sister M. Thereza Anna celebrated several Jubilees of Religious Life, reaching her Iron Jubilee in 2016. We are grateful to God for her life and mission, for her example of charity and love that we could witness in her life. May she be rewarded for all that she has done for the mission and evangelization of Acre. With her, let us pray for more vocations to Notre Dame.

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