Food for Your Soul
S. Anna Maria Ahl
Born in Chicago, Ill., S. Anna Maria Ahl attended St. Sebastian elementary and high school where she was taught by the Sisters of Charity. Even as a young teenager her desire to create in various fields became evident. She wrote, composed poetry and music, and created posters, artwork and bulletin boards for the school. Securing employment after graduation, she attended evening classes at the Chicago Institute of Art.
S. Anna Maria joined the Sisters of Charity in 1946 and received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the College of Mount St. Joseph. In her early years she taught every level of elementary school, but later taught art at Seton High School in Pueblo, Colo., and Seton High School in Cincinnati. During these years Sister received an MA in Art from the University of Notre Dame, and illustrated many program covers, created greeting cards, flyers, bulletin boards, holy cards, and assorted other projects both for the schools and for the Sisters of Charity.
In 1970, S. Anna Maria transitioned from classroom teaching to ministry as a full-time illustrator. She set up a studio at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse where, she noted, “Now I have the opportunity to experiment with various types of illustrating, such as black and white drawings and two-color sketches.” She secured contracts with Catholic publishers such as St. Mary’s Press and Abbey Press to illustrate books, create banners, greeting cards, and three-dimensional art.
Later in that decade she moved to Colorado where she continued her art work at Julie Penrose Center in Colorado Springs. During this time S. Anna Maria turned her attention to writing of poetry. Her poems have appeared in the publications of the Cheyenne Mountain Poetry Group, and in 2008 she published a collection of her poems titled, Bent World Charged Grandeur. The artist continues to reside in Colorado Springs.