Sister Frankie Vaughan is one of 600 Medical Mission Sisters and Associates who faithfully live our mission of healing presence today.
Born in Baker, Oregon, Sister (Frances) Frankie’s family moved often as she was growing up because her father was in the military. Her first 3 years of high school were in Wiesbaden, Germany. She completed high school at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., and joined the Medical Mission Sisters at age 18. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from St. Louis University, and a Master’s Degree in Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins University.
From 1972-74, Sister Frankie lived in Rome, Italy, and served our Foundress, Mother Anna Dengel, by being a liaison to her at our 1973 Chapter meeting, and by assisting with her personal papers. In 1978, Sister Frankie was missioned to Ghana. She served for 5 years as Diocesan Health Development Coordinator in Sunyani, and also was our District Superior for West Africa.
Sister Frankie Vaughan later studied drawing, watercolor, figure drawing and sculpture. Art became a part of her ministry with poor teenagers and adults, persons with addictions, and those suffering with AIDS. “I simply tried to assist them in the expression of feelings and emotions for which they had no words,” she explains. “When I’m doing art work, I feel really connected and whole. I sense a direct and tangible connection between my inside spirit and the work of my hands. When I do something that brings my insides and my outside together, that’s more wholeness. What any of us aspires to be is so often beyond words…art forms help us to reach where we want to be.”
While developing her own artistic talents, Sister Frankie has discovered a number of ways to facilitate creative expression in others, as well. A member of the Association Uniting Art and Religion, she also is a member of our own Liturgy Team. She has taught art and given workshops to a variety of groups, including persons with AIDS, teens and women struggling to overcome addiction, and African American young and older adults at the Southwest Community Enrichment Center in Philadelphia.
After six years in Community Leadership in North America, Sister Frankie now focuses a major portion of her energies on “Mission Green,” a 61-bed, low-income, fully accessible, independent living facility, soon to be built at our Philadelphia headquarters. It will serve a need for affordable senior housing for the local community, as well as for our own Sisters.
December 15, 2012