Taking the name Sister Mary Corita, Corita entered into the Order of the Immaculate Heart in 1936, shortly after completing high school. Many of Corita's earliest prints draw inspiration from Biblical passages, such as at cana of galilee (1952), which depicts one of Jesus' first miracles. Layering references to Byzantine icons alongside elements of contemporary design such as the Eames chairs, Corita creates her own modernist approach to religious imagery.
Corita went on to incorporate actual text from the Bible into several of her works from the 1960s, pairing Biblical passages alongside advertising slogans and the work of modern writers including Gertrude Stein and E.E. Cummings. In song about the greatness (1964), Corita combines text from a Del Monte Foods, Inc. advertisement for tomato sauce with Psalm 97 from the Bible, creating a updated and somewhat playful view of religion that proved to be controversial within the Catholic Church. Following conflicts with the conservative Cardinal of Los Angeles, Corita left the Order in 1968, moving to Boston to dedicate herself to her artistic practice full time.