Artistic Expressions: S. Anna Maria Ahl (1926-)

The poem is written by Sister of Charity Anna Maria Ahl. Born in Chicago, Illinois, S. Anna Maria Ahl brought multiple talents of poetry, art and voice with her upon entering the Sisters of Charity Community in 1946.

S. Anna Maria Ahl was born in Chicago, Illinois, to German immigrant parents and attended St. Sebastian grade and high school, taught by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. When she entered the Sisters of Charity in 1946 she brought multiple talents of poetry, art and voice with her. Her talents were primarily self-cultivated. Having drawn pictures since elementary school, she also immersed herself in poetry and indulged in writing it in high school. She sang in the parish choir, devoured books on music and musicians while listening to classical music into the late-night hours. S. Anna Maria earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1960 from the College of Mount St. Joseph and a Master in Art from the University of Notre Dame in 1968. After teaching primary, intermediate and junior high grades in Findlay, Lima and Cincinnati, Ohio, she began teaching high school, first at Seton in Pueblo, Colorado, and then at Seton in Cincinnati. In 1970 she was freed for creative endeavors. She said: “From a natural standpoint the most absorbed I am in some form of creative activity, the more I become my true self, but the creative spirit is no respecter of a schedule or timeline. Like the Scriptures the Spirit breathes where it will.”  Throughout the years she has created volumes of poetry, published works, and served with affordable housing programs for single parents (Greccio) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she resides today. S. Anna Maria  is retired, but enjoys meeting with local poets to share their works. She particularly enjoys Sudoku as a way of relaxing at the end of a day.