A native of Cavallermaggiore (Cuneo - Italy), where she was born on May 13, 1948, Sister Vilma attended the primary school in Riva di Chieri and the Middle School in the city of Chieri. She became acquainted with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and she frequented the Oratory.
Fascinated by the Salesian charism and the witness of the Sisters, she asked to be accepted as a “missionary” aspirant. At the neighboring university in the shadow of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, she graduated with a degree in primary education. She made her first profession in Pessione in 1968 and made perpetual vows in 1974.
She earned a degree in Literature at Assumption University in Rome, and for six years taught in the Middle School, and animated Oratory and Youth Centers in Giaveno and Turin. She then obtained from the Superiors permission to go to Africa as a missionary, and was destined for Gabon (1982), where she remained for 26 years, devoting herself to teaching in the high school, and to the foundation of new missions, youth centers, Vocational Schools, parish activities, and works of development for young people, women, and lepers.
From 1997 to 2004 she was appointed Provincial of the "Mother of God" Province of West Africa (AFO), succeeding Mother Yvonne Reungoat. During these years she accompanied the new foundations in a province which included 8 nations, preparing for the transition into two provinces in August 2004. Subsequently she was asked to take on the responsibility of a diocesan center for spirituality and ministry in Bafia, Cameroon, and participated in the foundation of a new community in the same diocese.
General Chapter XXII (2008) asked her to animate the Administration Sector as General Treasurer, a task accepted "with an act of faith" and with the desire to live it as a new mission on a global scale. In her six years in office she made several visits to various provinces around the world, enhancing the sense of belonging to the Institute and animating steps towards innovative management that concretized the choice for the sharing of goods as an expression of solidarity, especially in view of the poorest.
General Chapter XXIII renewed her for a second six-year term. Her first words to the question of acceptance were: “My hands are empty, but I know that I can count on the Lord, on you all, and on the help of Mother and the Council. Therefore I say yes.”