Work with Communities
Vocational School - Timor-Leste
Journey with the Salesian Sisters as they provide young girls in Timor-Leste the opportunity to access education that can lead to employment.
Sr Alma Castagna is the Provincial of the Salesian Sisters in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. Growing up in Italy, Sr Alma studied medicine to become a doctor. Guided by her faith, she decided to join the Mission and dedicate her life to serving others, as an act of selflessness.
After working across Asia and Oceania, she arrived in Timor-Leste, 30 years ago, where she began to work as a doctor among local communities struggling to access health services and medical personnel. Her skills and training were vital, and she was soon sent to work on different projects around the country to help the people most in need.
In 1992, she was asked to go to the small town of Venilale to assist Sr Paola to run the local clinic established in 1989, the Maria Auxiliadora Clinic. Alongside the clinic and thanks to the resourcefulness of Sr Paola, St Mary Mazzarello Vocational School was being built to offer vocational training to young girls and boys, creating pathways to employment. In 1995, Sr Alma took on the role of Director for the school’s community.
Her journey as a missionary has been driven by her burning passion for people and her faith. She is reminded of the presence of Christ through every encounter and as she sees people walk toward a better future in their own capacity. In her own words, Sr Alma describes the importance of taking action,
"Everywhere we can make something, small things, but we can do what God wants from us."
Sr Alma’s devotion to helping others continues to be an inspiration for many missionaries.
To celebrate missionaries and their work, Pope Francis has published a message for the 2023 World Mission Sunday. His message encourages people around the world to renew their commitment to spreading the Good News and to support missionary work.