Year Joined MKLM: 2010
1. To support health and human rights of those with HIV/AIDS and to prevent the spread of the virus
2. To offer pastoral support to hospitalized poor; to collaborate with the hospital’s office of social work and with other organizations in Cochabamba to meet the needs of the hospitalized poor
Prior to joining MKLM in 2010, Ann was employed as an English and ESL teacher and she resided in Berkeley, California for 25 years. For more than 30 years, she taught in both California and New Mexico – primarily in public high schools. “I especially value the work I did with immigrant students in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 20 years,” Ann says of her domestic ministry work.
Ann is no stranger to mission abroad either. In the 1980s, she spent two years teaching in Shanghai, China and in Bogota, Colombia. In the 1990s, she spent several summers in Ecuador and Guatemala studying Spanish and indigenous folklore, and a summer in Mexico studying migration and education issues. More recently, Ann has volunteered her summers teaching ESL to Tibetan youth in India and assisting with fundraising for a medical NGO in Guatemala.
After retirement in 2009, Ann brought her ministry work to her home diocese in Oakland, California where she worked to meet the needs of community members at Newman Hall / Holy Spirit Parish and at Berkeley Zen Center.
Ann serves in two ministries in Bolivia.
There is a great deal of ignorance and prejudice regarding HIV/AIDS in Bolivian society. HIV/AIDS patients are often rejected by their families and by society in general. Since April 2010, Ann has worked with IDH, an NGO that supports the human rights of persons with HIV/AIDS, and provides extensive education on prevention and on the rights of those affected by the virus. Ann accompanies those hospitalized with AIDS-related illnesses in the public hospital. She shares information about services offered by IDH and by government programs and explains the human rights of those with HIV.
Ann assists in organizing materials for educational workshops in secondary schools and universities and in training sessions for teachers, accompanies presenters to workshops, and logs patient data into service records. For Ann, the most important aspect of her IDH ministry is her visits with poor patients in the public hospital who have AIDS-related illnesses.”
Ann tries to encourage patients’ improvement and let them know of resources available to help their recovery and to help them maintain strength when they leave the hospital. “Mostly, I simply accompany these often very ill patients,” says Ann. “I often talk with their family members as well. At times – too often – these patients have been rejected by their families. I hope that my presence allows them to feel less alone.”
In her second ministry with the Archdiocese of Cochabamba, Ann makes pastoral visits to patients in the public hospital. She often collaborates with the social work office and with other organizations in Cochabamba to meet the needs of the very poor in the public hospital. In addition, Ann facilitates patients’ attendance at Mass on a public floor in the hospital.