Current Ministry Location: Maryknoll Sisters Center-Maryknoll, NY
Sister Anna Maria was born August 23rd, 1928 to Edminnie (Schrap) Hartman and George Anthony Hartman in Juneau, WI. She had 5 brothers and 4 sisters.
Sister Anna Maria graduated in 1946 from St. Mary’s Academy in Juneau and entered the Congregation on October 5th the same year at their Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She pronounced her First Vows April 6th, 1949 at the Sisters Center,. During her novitiate years, Sister Anna Maria earned a Bachelor of Education degree in 1952 from Maryknoll Teachers College and pronounced Final Vows on April 6th of the same year, also at the Sisters Center in NY.
Sister Anna Maria’s first overseas assignment was as a pioneer to Guatemala where she and four other Sisters opened Colegio Monte Maria, a girls’ school and the first Maryknoll Sisters mission in Guatemala. She served from 1952-1974, teaching primary grades at Monte Maria until 1964, when she became principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Guatemala City until 1974. She also studied at the Celam Institute of Catechetics in Manizales, Columbia of the Conference of Bishops in 22 Latin American countries in 1968.
Sister Anna Maria was then sent to El Salvador where she worked in a Maryknoll Society (Fathers’ & Brothers’) parish, supervising the religious education program and collaborating with the pastor in the religious formation of adults until 1977. While there, she took correspondence courses toward a masters degree in the ‘Art of Teaching’ through Montclair State College in NJ, from 1974-1977. She collaborated with a professor at the college in an experiment which applied the techniques being taught in her area of specialization, Philosophy (or logical thinking) for Children, which stimulated the formation of values and critical thinking in the parish school in El Salvador. Sister Anna Maria also used the innovative approach in Chile, where she directed workshops for teachers in Philosophy for Children in both rural and urban areas, from 1981-1987.
Returning to the states for a period of renewal, Sister Anna Maria continued attending classes at Montclair State College, NJ and translating the Celam courses from English to Spanish, working toward the Masters Degree which she earned in 1985.
Another pioneering moment came in 1988 when Sister Anna Maria helped open a new mission in Nepal. She served in a Jesuit seminary training future teachers and teaching English as a second language. In refugee camps in Damak, she trained Bhutanese secondary teachers.
Returning to the States in 1999, Sister Anna Maria served among Hispanic residents of West Haven, CT, living with other semi-retired Maryknoll Sisters. Her energy, humor and compassion endeared her to many. While volunteering in a food bank, she commented, “When I returned to this wonderful country of abundance, I was surprised that some people do not have enough to eat and I wanted to help alleviate their suffering.”
Sister Anna Maria returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY in 2003 where she served in the Congregational Development Department and continues to reside and serve in the congregation’s Treasury Department.