Editor’s note: Learn more about DC Service Corps member Alessia Catena, the new Graphic Design Associate.

FMS’ new DC Service Corps Graphic Design Associate, Alessia Catena, was born in Rome, Italy, where she spent much of her life. She owes her world travels to being part of a military family–she and her two older sisters and a younger brother. Actually, her family traveled a lot because of her father’s work with the military, so she lived in North Carolina, Germany, Kansas and then New York in her early years before her family returned to Italy, where she went to school from the 3rd grade on. She eventually returned to the US for her last year of high school and has been in the US ever since.

Alessia first obtained an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design and then transferred to the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, where she completed her BFA in Graphic Design this May.

When Alessia was looking for service opportunities, she was prepared to go anywhere in the world to find a placement where she could use her skills for a faith-based organization, but she ended up close to home. Her family now resides in Rising Sun, a small town in northeastern Maryland.

We’re excited to have Alessia as part of the office team because she is so excited–about using her graphic design skills for the FMS mission, about growing professionally and spiritually, and about learning from the intentional community at the Casa San Salvador.

Alessia describes her faith background as “strong, but private. When my family went on vacations, we would stay in monasteries. Now I think that’s really cool, and it’s something I would definitely do again.” During college, she and a friend went to Mass together, but now she feels like she is ready to learn and share about more aspects of Catholicism with the FMS community.

As a student, Alessia was involved with team sports, acting as captain of her volleyball and soccer teams. She also enjoys reading–crime novels, Harry Potter, and coming-of-age novels. Her current reading includes Matthew Kelly’s The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. She is also one of the elect who can solve a Rubik’s cube.

Alessia’s athleticism has already come into play during the DC Service Corps/Class 33 Scavenger Hunt last week. She and Tim Shelgren, a new overseas missioner, practiced their yoga poses in front of the Brookland Metro station. Alessia is starting her first full week in the office today, and she has a full agenda of design, social media outreach, spiritual reflection, and fun ahead.