Born in South Africa in 1930, Wendy Beckett received her dual vocations -- God and art -- early in life. The eldest of three children, Wendy had her childhood divided between Colinton, Scotland -- where the family relocated for several years while her father studied medicine -- and her native South Africa. It was there that Wendy's appreciation for art and religious devotion was nurtured by her school-teachers, the Sisters of Notre Dame.
Wendy would join this order herself in 1946, traveling to England to begin her novitiate. The order then sent Wendy to St. Anne's College in Oxford, where she studied English and graduated with highest honors. During this time, Wendy continued to live in the convent instead of the college, maintaining a strict rule of silence.
In 1954 Sister Wendy completed her teaching diploma in Liverpool and returned to South Africa to teach. She was eventually appointed a Reverend Mother, a position she held while also lecturing at the University of Witwatersrand.