Friday, December 9, 2022
Mass of the Resurrection, 10:30 a.m.
Church of Our Lady of Loretto
Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana
Visitors are welcome; please adhere to mask and social distance guidelines while in the church.
You may view the livestreamed Mass on YouTube.
Read the memories shared at Sister Georgia's funeral.
Sister M. Georgia, CSC
(Sarah Jane Costin)
August 26, 1923–November 30, 2022
We share news of the death of Sister M. Georgia (Costin), CSC, who died at 7:20 p.m. on November 30, 2022, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana. Sister Georgia entered the Congregation from Chicago, Illinois, on August 26, 1941. Her initial profession of vows took place on August 15, 1944.
Please join us in prayer for Sister as we renew our faith in the resurrected Jesus and strengthen our hope that all the departed will be raised to eternal life.
Sarah Jane Costin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 26, 1923. Her parents were James Michael Costin and Jane Lowry Costin. Her sister, Mina, was born three years later and her brother, James, six years later. Her father was a journalist and a sportswriter. The family moved to South Bend, Indiana, in 1934 and after five years another move took them to Chicago, Illinois. While living in South Bend, Sarah attended Holy Cross School for grades six to eight and Saint Joseph High School for two years. She came to know and love the Sisters of the Holy Cross who taught in both schools. She entered the Congregation on her birthday, August 26, 1941, a few months after her high school graduation from Calumet High School in Chicago. She received the religious name Sister M. Georgia in honor of Rev. George Meagher, CSC, a friend and counselor.
For the first 11 years of her ministry Sister Georgia was a teacher in parish elementary schools in Indiana and Illinois. In 1956, she was assigned to Bishop Noll High School in Hammond, Indiana. This was the beginning of 16 years as a secondary teacher of English in high schools in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Frequently, she chaired the English Department. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, in 1952, and a master’s degree in English from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1961. While teaching in Flint, Michigan, she became interested in prison ministry. When she applied for a position at the Genesee County Jail in Flint, she was hired full-time by the director, one of her former students. From 1972 to 1977, she engaged in this ministry, which she found highly rewarding. Her main work was preparing inmates without a high school diploma to obtain a high school equivalency certificate by passing the G.E.D. (General Education Development) Test. She also accompanied prisoners to court-sentencing hearings and visited inmates regularly at the main prison in Jackson, Michigan. This ministry prompted her to obtain a master’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University in East Lansing in 1978.
Answering an emergency request for a teacher in a congregational school in Fort Portal, Uganda, she taught from May to August 1978 at Saint Maria Goretti School. She found this such an enriching experience that she welcomed the opportunity in 1980 to serve again at Saint Maria Goretti School. In 1981, she returned to Bishop Noll High School as chair of the English Department and mentor to its teachers.
She used her considerable writing skills authoring articles appearing in newspapers such as the South Bend Tribune and Today’s Catholic. Her articles addressed a variety of topics, such as religious life, history, prison reform and other social issues. She enjoyed two trips to England. In 1963, she traveled with Sister Miriam Joseph (Rauh), CSC, a Shakespearean scholar, attending a Shakespeare festival and touring the country. In 1970, she revisited England with a group of students. She was a woman of prayer and an involved member of her local community throughout her life. Her interests included reading, astronomy, history and justice issues. For relaxation she enjoyed classical music, needlepoint, jigsaw puzzles and birdwatching.
In 1985, she left Bishop Noll High School to join the Sisters of the Holy Cross Congregational Archives and Records as a historian for the last 14 years of her formal ministry. She wrote Priceless Spirit, a diligently researched history of the Sisters of the Holy Cross during its founding years, 1841 to 1893. She also edited and contributed to the three volumes of the Fruits of the Tree series, published by the Congregation to commemorate its sesquicentennial in 1991. After retiring in 1999, she continued to volunteer as an archivist and was actively engaged with her community until 2007.
Sister Georgia titled her 1994 book Priceless Spirit, evoking a favorite passage familiar to the Sisters of the Holy Cross. The image came from Father Edward F. Sorin, CSC, who penned the Preface to the Rule of 1872: “…[It] is the priceless spirit of faith which ennobles every act of a humble and devoted Sister … . The spirit of faith sustains her in the hour of fatigue, of trial, of affliction, of sickness; for in the light of faith, the tribulations of this life bear no comparison, in her estimation, with the degree of glory awaiting her in eternity.”
Sister Georgia had that priceless spirit of faith, spending the last years of her long life devoted to the ministry of prayer. Poor health left her unable to actively engage with the sisters during her final years at Saint Mary’s Convent, where she died peacefully the evening of November 30, 2022, at 99 years old. Sister Georgia had lived in religious community for 81 years. Now she lives in the presence of the Risen Christ, the Lord of History.
We invite you to donate to the Ministry With the Poor Fund in Sister’s name.—Written by Sister Grace Shonk, CSC