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Sister Paula (Aurora) D'Errico

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Sister Paula (Aurora) D'Errico Obituary
Sister Paula (Aurora) D'Errico, Medical Mission Sister, passed away peacefully in Philadelphia Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Born in Franklin on Sept. 2, 1920, Aurora was the eighth child of Rocco and Allesandrina (DeBaggis) D'Errico. She graduated in 1938 from Franklin High School, where she was captain of the Basketball Team and President of the Italian Club. During her elementary and High School years, she worked in the family business - DeBaggis and D'Errico Bakery on Ruggles Street. She was the loving sister of Rose DiBlasio of Somerville, and the late Giaconda (Jackie) Cataldo, Laura Taddeo, Antoinette (Tee) Ciarlone, Francisco, Ferdinand (Fred), Joseph, Orlando (Luns) Dante, and Donato (Danny) D'Errico. She also leaves behind her loving in-laws of Theresa D'Errico, Lola D'Errico and Alberto Taddeo as well as many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. Sister Paula entered the Medical Mission Sisters in 1941 in Philadelphia, and took her final vows in 1943. She then began the Registered Nurses Program at the Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, she set sail in 1948 by steamer to the Ghana, Gold Coast in West Africa. Along with Sister Margaret and Sister Joan, she traveled outside of Accra to Berekum, after being invited by the Bishop of the Diocese to bring much needed healthcare to the region. Africa was subject to malaria and other diseases, but anti-malarial drugs developed during World War II, were most helpful. In Berekum, Sister Paula was Nurse Administrator of the Holy Family Hospital that she helped build. After the first three years due to medical regulations, she returned to Catholic Maternity Institute, founded by Medical Mission Sisters, in Santa Fe, New Mexico for Nurse Midwifery School. In 1955, Sister Paula traveled to Venezuela for two years. In 1959, she returned to Ghana, her first love and was in charge of Nursing Services for the next 8 years at the Holy Family Hospital. Those years were her most rewarding for her. She had met the new President of the country and various tribal chiefs throughout the area that worked with her. The chiefs loved her Italian cooking recipes. From 1977 to 1982, she was assigned to be in Rome, Italy, where Mother Dengel - Medical Missions founder - was in her final years. This was certainly a privilege for Sister Paula to work with Mother Dengel in Italy. In 1983, Sister Paula was assigned to duties in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the Attat Hospital for five years as staff assistant to the Papal Nuncio. In all, she served 40 years in Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia. In 1989 she returned to the United States to the Medical Mission Sisters Mother House in Philadelphia, Pa. She worked at the Medical Mission Thrift Shop up until her death. One of Sister Paula's favorite sayings was "Onyame Bekyere" - "God will provide." She said, "It means a deep fidelity and trust in the Lord, knowing the Lord is with you and will take care of you." Sister Paula D'Errico was laid to rest on the grounds of the Mother House Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Donations in Sister Paula's memory can be made to: Medical Mission Sisters, 8400 Pine Road, Philadelphia, PA 19111-1312.

Published in The Country Gazette from July 21 to July 28, 2010
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