The Last Time I Saw Mark Costello

To the Editor:

I hadn’t seen Mark Costello in years until about three weeks ago, at a weekday 5:30 p.m. Mass at my parish, Little Flower Church. I had never seen him there before. It was crowded, I was late, so I took the seat next to him, not immediately recognizing him. His head was bowed, not only in prayer but also he was slumped over, as if a great burden was on his shoulders. I thought it might be Mark, but I couldn’t really tell because Mass was also going on.
Mark and his family were strong supporters of mine when I was editor of The Sooner Catholic newspaper. Mark was a devout Catholic and benefactor of the Church. Notably, he had a significant role in the establishment of the Clear Creek Benedictine Monastery near Tulsa.

At one point he looked up, recognized me, smiled and extended his hand. I said “Mark? How are you?” happy to see him. He nodded and smiled but we could not chat as Mass was in progress. What struck me was his body language. He looked as if he was struggling under a great burden weighing upon him.
This was notable because it was so unlike him. He was always joyful, friendly and smiling, gregarious, handsome, laughing and outgoing. So I prayed for him, a simple prayer, like, “Lord, help Mark, with whatever he’s dealing with.”
At the end of Mass we shook hands again and I asked him a question about a mutual friend in Oklahoma Politics. I wanted to ask if he was okay, but it didn’t seem appropriate at the time. But he was on my mind for a while after that.
Well, now I know. God bless you Mark, old friend, may the Father embrace you and your entire family, Especially your dear wife, my friend, Cathy, your children, especially your very troubled son. God love you all.

John MallonOklahoma City

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