Sister Trinidad Lesaca Castrillo - North Providence

Sister Trinidad Lesaca Castrillo - North Providence

Sister Trinidad Lesaca Castrillo, 86, Franciscan Missionary of Mary of Ein Karim Community, died Dec. 18 , 2013, at St. Antoine Residence in North Smithfield. She was born in Baguad, Abra, Philippines, the daughter of the late Jose and Luisa (Lesaco) Castrillo.

She entered the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on June 13, 1954, at Tagaytay, Philippines. She pronounced her first vows on June 13, 1957, and her final vows on June 13, 1960, in Bogor, Indonesia.

She was sent on mission to Indonesia as a young professed. There she faced many challenges, her first being asked to teach some subjects in the National School. Bahasa Indonesian was the language. Not knowing more than 10 words in Bahasa Indonesian, Sister Trinidad memorized verbatim the lessons she had to teach. She was gifted in language and after perseverance in reading materials in Indonesian, plus the help of a good dictionary, she was able to speak, write, and teach in Indonesian.

Sister Trinidad was sent in mission to several other communities in Indonesia, fulfilling whatever ministries she was given until 1980, when all foreign missionaries had to leave the country.

Returning to the Philippines was a big adjustment. It was not easy, as her “heart” would very often fly to Indonesia. God has gifted Filipinos with the ability to adjust and to adapt, so she was able to feel at home in her own country. The experiences which followed were varied and enriching: dormitory apostolate with college students, a very brief stint in the infirmary, then back to translations, secretarial work and taking care of documents/papers needed by sisters who came to stay in the Philippines, or who had to travel abroad.

In 1992, Sister Trinidad was sent to the U.S. Province where she was asked to help in the finance office in Fruit Hill. She told her provincial that she had no knowledge of accounting work. Once again, when faced with a new challenge she was told not to worry. She said that Sister Elaine Nazareth would teach her. As in all her past ministries, she proved to be a quick and apt leaner. After two years, she was sent to the Provincial Treasurer’s office in Manhattan to do the accounts and then to the Finance office in the Bronx, N.Y. As she remarked, “There are many things to learn each day and challenges too, but I thoroughly enjoy my work. Every experience in life is precious and makes one grow.”

Declining health necessitated her being sent in mission to the FMM Assisted Living Residence in North Providence, R.I., and then to St. Antoine’s Residence.

She is survived by her sisters, Angela Rivera in Seattle, and Sister Minda Castrillo, FMM in St. Francis Community in Roslyn, N.Y.

Her funeral Mass is scheduled for Dec. 20, 2013, at 11 a.m. in Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Ave., North Providence, R.I. Arrangements are by Russell J. Boyle & Son Funeral Home. For online condolences, please visit: