SAN BERNARDINO—Mary Ann Andel and Estela Sanchez will receive the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross award at the annual Diocesan Award ceremony on May 19 at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral.
The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross award is the highest honor bestowed upon a layperson in the Church by the Vatican.
Andel was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently lives in Alta Loma, California. She and her husband, Frederick, have been married for almost 50 years and have four children. One of her sons is the Very Rev. David Andel, Director of the Office of Canonical Services in the Diocese of San Bernardino. The Andels relocated to Southern California and settled in Sacred Heart Parish, Rancho Cucamonga, in order to send their children to Catholic School.
Parish Ministry became a focus for Andel after attending and then teaching in the Straling Leadership Institute in the 1980’s. She also became a facilitator in the Diocesan Ministry Formation Institute (MFI) and taught Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) for 30 years. A Master Catechist, she has served parishes as Director of Catechesis.
Her call to leadership in ministry continued over the last several years, and she worked with Rev. Felix Just, SJ, (Loyola Marymount University) to bring the Catholic Bible Institute to the Diocese of San Bernardino. The Catholic Bible Institute is a three-year certificated program for lay men and women to immerse themselves in Bible study.
Andel has collaborated with the Office of Catechetical Ministry, was a member of the Office of Catechetical Ministry Advisory Board for four years and was part of the team that worked on the last revision of the Catechist Specialization Course. She currently teaches Catechists and Master Catechists yearly.
Sanchez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and currently lives with her husband and children in Colton. She has four children - three boys and one girl.
She worked for the Diocese of San Bernardino as an Office Administrator for the Office of the Chancellor and the Priest Secretary to Bishop Gerald R. Barnes from 1999-2005. During this time she provided administrative support for many different major projects including St. Junipero Serra House of Formation in Grand Terrace, the official commencement of Diocesan Awards program, the establishment of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Cemetery in Colton, and the 25th Anniversary cCelebration of the Diocese.
Since 2005, Sanchez, has provided outstanding interpretation and translation service to the Diocese of San Bernardino. She has especially assisted the international priests and deacons needing English/Spanish interpretation and translation at the annual Priests Convocation, clerical continuing education training/workshops, diocesan conferences and lay minsters training offered by different diocesan offices and parishes. She also provides services in translating official documents for priests, deacons and sisters coming to the Diocese, as well as translating pastoral letters, and official diocesan communications with other dioceses in Spanish speaking countries.
She volunteers at different parishes throughout the Diocese on a variety of topics offering her interpreting and translating services.
With the postponement of the annual Bishop’s Dinner, the Amar Es Entregarse award will also be presented at the May 19 ceremony.
Receiving the honor will be the Hermanas Evangelizadoras Eucharisticas de los Pobres, Ana Gmeiner, Henry Gonzalez, Deacon H.K. Han and Rev. José Antonio Sanz, DLP.
The Amar es Entergarse award is given to one who demonstrates a level of dedication and service to community and the Church, a living example of Bishop Gerald Barnes’ Episcopal Motto “love is the total giving of oneself.”
Also to be awarded during the May ceremony, which takes place on or near the Feast of St. Bernardine, will be the St. Bernardine Award, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Award and the Saint John Paul II Youth Award.
Please see our June issue for a complete list of all awardees.