Sr. Francis Lyons, IHM
My name is Sister St. Francis Lyons, I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. I was born on March 16, 1937. There were four in my family. Besides my parents, I had a younger brother, Jim.
I attended St.Rosalia Elementary and High School. I had the IHM Sisters for twelve years. There were all great teachers. In those days, we had a Sister in every grade. In first grade, we were very fortunate to have a wonderful Sister, Sister Francis Gabriel Lerthan. We loved her and we knew she loved us.
I lived about ten minutes from the school and church. My friend and I were able to attend daily Mass. My friend wanted to be a sister since second grade. Being a sister, did not cross my mind.
During High School, every First Friday, there was a Vocation Meeting. One of the Sisters suggested that I should attend this meeting. I answered, "If God wants me, God will let me know." A group of us Seniors used to clean the Convent Chapel once a month. All during our school days, we would stay after school to help the sisters clean the blackboards or do whatever they needed to have done.
During our Junior year in High School, my friend and I were invited to spend a weekend at Seton Hill in Greensburg to learn about the Sisters of Charity. My friend had an aunt and a cousin in the Order. I have a cousin in that Order as well. After this, Sister Felicitas made arrangements for my friend and I to see Marywood. Sister Felicitas and Sister Cyril accompanied us to Scranton and we stayed for the weekend. We received the royal treatment. I enjoyed the weekends, but I didn't feel any calling at this time.
During our Senior year, we had a three day retreat which took place in March. After this retreat, I felt that God was calling me and that I had a Vocation to the IHM Congregation.
When I came home from school, I told my Mother first, then my father - I caught him off guard. We had a quiet dinner that night. As time went on my parents were very happy and supportive. At my Graduation party, my Father told everyone that I was entering the Convent in September.
On September 7, 1955, my parents and I drove to the Poconos and we stayed there overnight. The next day, I entered at the Motherhouse that afternoon. When we arrived at Marywood, my High School teacher, Sister Elphege Lowery was there to welcome us and give my parents the tour of Marywood.
I thank God for my Vocation and thank my Parents for their example and instilling in me good moral values. I have loved and enjoyed my years as a Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am grateful for the influence of the Sisters and Priests in my life. I feel privileged to have worked, lived and met so many wonderful women - IHM Sisters. My friend entered the Sisters of Charity and we are still very close friends.
Sr. St. Francis is currently serving as the director of transportation and religious programs at St. Joseph's Center, Scranton, PA.