Sister Frances Falk - North Providence

Sister Frances Falk - North Providence

Sister Frances Falk, Franciscan Missionary of Mary, daughter of the late Maurice S. Falk and Alvida M, (Baker) Falk died peacefully March 29, 2013, at St. Antoine’s Residence in North Smithfield.

She was a member of Ein Karim Community. Frances was born on All Souls' Day as an identical twin in Monroe, La. Her mother died shortly after giving birth and their paternal grandparents brought up her and her sister, Virginia.

Frances attended Catholic schools from first through the twelfth grade. After first vows in 1954 at Fruit Hill, Frances was sent to Boston to study at Emmanuel College. Her first mission sending was to Espirito Santo School in Fall River, Mass., where she taught fourth graders for four years.

Then she attended Boston College full time to earn a Master’s degree in religious education. The years following took her overseas to ministry as a teacher and headmistress. For seven and one half years she ministered in the FMM training college and secondary schools in South India and New Delhi.

In 1972 she returned to the United States for two years. Then she was sent to her second overseas mission to Ghana, West Africa, to be part of the faculty of the Pastoral Institute there. The longing of the youthful Frances to be a missionary in Africa was now fulfilled.

She trained Ghanaian catechists and religious women in liturgy and worked with them to create catechetical visual aids from simple materials for their work in the villages. Her stay in Africa was cut short when four years later, ill health brought her back to the USA. She had two years of cancer treatments, which included resiliently entering a remission that lasted more than two decades.

She spent a few years in Hazlehurst, Ga., and a period studying for a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. With this completed, she had the opportunity to teach art for several years at universities in Albuquerque and Portales, N.M. She created and facilitated expressive arts for groups and individuals, leading workshops in art and spirituality, and directing an arts-in-medicine program that had a team of twelve artists who were painters, musicians and poets at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.

Frances' favorite image of God was a Great Circle that embraces all of life. She wrote. “My journey through nearly seven decades of life and fifty years as an FMM is not like a straight line but more like a circling within the Great Mystery of God. There is no end point; it flows naturally into eternity and goes on and on." She fulfilled her longing and hope for her later years “to be able to use her gift of art to express in new ways insights about our interconnectedness that have come in the journeying and to put art at the service of human efforts for peace and global healing.”

Sister Frances is survived by her twin sister, Sister Virginia Falk, FMM who is residing at LaGrange, Ga.

Visiting hours will be from 2 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, with a Wake Service at 7 p.m. in the Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Ave., North Providence, with a Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Family Chapel, Thursday, April 4 at 11 a.m. Burial will be in the Holy Family Cemetery. Funeral arrangements by Russell J. Boyle and Son Funeral Home. For complete obituary, please visit: