Sister Mary Francis Becker, SSJ, says the call to religious life was always present. “I kept denying it was there, but God does not relent,” she says. Her parents were the first and most impressive examples of faith in action in her life. Growing up, she had planned a life in a big city as an artist or dress designer and not wanting anything to do with the convent. But while in college, nothing seemed to be going right and though she couldn’t understand why, she figured she would give it a try. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from her home parish of St. Luke’s and she has never regretted listening to the voice of God. Sister May Francis attended St. Peter Cathedral School and Villa Maria Academy. She earned a degree in elementary education at Villa Maria College, she studied art at Mercyhurst University and earned a master’s degree in art from the University of Notre Dame. Sister Mary Francis taught at St Andrews, St Peter Cathedral and St. John’s Schools in Erie, and served as principal at Villa Maria Elementary. She also taught at Villa Maria College and at Saint Vincent Health Center. She was self-employed as a decorating consultant, artist and painting instructor during which time she did projects for clients in Erie, Buffalo and Washington, DC.