Sister Mary Annel, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She joined the Maryknoll Sisters from Chicago, IL in 1957. After two years at Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, NY, Sister Mary earned her B.S. in Pre-Med at Mount St. Vincent College, NY and her M.D. from Marquette School of Medicine (now known as Medical College of Wisconsin). After completing a Rotating Internship at the Los Angeles USC Medical Complex, she earned a Masters in Public Health & Tropical Medicine from Tulane University. In 1973, Sister Mary was assigned to Guatemala and received her Incorporation MD in the University of San Carlos. Guatemala. In Jacaltenango, Huehuetenango, she was engaged in Public Health Maternal and Child Care and a diocesan training program for rural paramedics, and was Clinical Professor of Rural Medicine at the University of San Carlos.
From 1993 to the present, Sister Mary has worked with AIDS prevention and in ministry to people living with HIV/AIDS. She received her Incorporation MD from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of El Salvador. She founded and administers an AIDS prevention program, CONTRASIDA (against AIDS) where teams of educators prepare and deliver orientation about the HIV/AIDS problem. She did the preliminary investigation for developing the Catholic Church’s response to AIDS and initiated the San Salvador Archdiocesan AIDS Team, legally incorporated in 2004 as the non-governmental organization “The Salvadoran Foundation for the Fight Against AIDS ‘Maria Lorena’.” There she serves as President of the Foundation, administrator, as well as physician in the Foundation’s AIDS clinic. In conferring the Lumina Award, Father Robert Vitillo said of Mary, “I know that you are a great example of Christ’s love and acceptance, especially to the young people whom you serve and challenge to serve and teach others.”