Sister Rebecca Ann Costa, SSJ, age 86, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, died on September 5, 2021. She was in the 69th year of her religious life. Sr. Rebecca was born on March 24, 1935, the daughter of the late Joseph M. Costa and Marian Costa Costa.
A parishioner of St. Andrew parish, she entered the congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania on August 30, 1953, professed temporary vows on August 15, 1956, and professed perpetual vows on August 15, 1959. She celebrated 60 years of religious life in 2013.
Sr. Rebecca Ann was educated at Blessed Sacrament and St. Andrew elementary schools, Villa Maria Academy, Villa Maria College, and Gannon University in Erie, and at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan, and Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
During her years of ministry, she taught at St. John, Holy Rosary, Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Peace, St. Andrew and St. Peter Cathedral Schools in Erie, and St. Leo Elementary School in Ridgway, PA. She also ministered at Saint Vincent Health Center, St. Joseph Home for Children, and as Auditor in the Erie Diocesan Marriage Tribunal for 25 years. After retirement from the Marriage Tribunal, she was caretaker for her sister, Jeanne M. Costa, and served as Retreat Coordinator for the Sisters of St. Joseph.
In her words, Sr. Rebecca Ann’s greatest joys in life were “God, my parents, and family, my vocation as a Sister of St. Joseph, my sisters in the congregation, and the wonderful people for whom and with whom I ministered throughout the years.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Anthony J. and Joseph Jr., and her sister, Jeanne Marie. She is survived by her brother, John, of Union City, PA, and his wife, Beverly; her sister, Mary Elaine Strenio, of Erie; her sister-in-law, Rosemary Costa of Chicopee, MA; and several nieces and nephews and their families. She is also survived by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no calling hours and the services will be private. The Mass of Christian Burial will be live-streamed on Friday, September 10 at 4:30 p.m. on the Sisters of St. Joseph Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SSJErie/ and the SSJ Erie YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/SSJErie/live.
Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, PA, 16506-1249 or online at www.ssjerie.org.
The Kloecker Funeral Home, Erie, PA is handling arrangements.