After leaving campus ministry in 1981, my subsequent work, largely part-time, was in the education field. I taught nature studies, French and religion. In 2001, I joined the staff of the Langsford Learning Center, where I oversaw intensive research-based interventions for individuals with learning deficits. I just retired from this rewarding work in December, 2018.
Back in 1986 I began the pilgrimage of psychoanalysis. These eight years of exploring my rich inner world, particularly the suppressed grief of my childhood, led me to face my spiritual doubts and ultimately to deepen my faith. Toward the end of that pivotal period, I began to write my memoir, Ollie Ollie In Come Free: A Memoir of Swallowed Time. This project continued off and on for the next twenty years!
In 2005, my spiritual director encouraged me to participate in a Hellinger Family Constellation Workshop with Mark Wolynn and Suzi Tucker. I was so moved by the extraordinary energy of this modality that I have pursued it for fourteen years.
My memoir was published in 2014 and is available at http://www.annebernardbecker.com or on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Ollie-Come-Free-Memoir-Swallowed/dp/162652968X/ref. Writing remains an important part of my life. I continue to write essays, poetry and memoir.
My deepest joy comes from experiencing an intimate connection with Spirit and sharing this consciousness with others. My meditation and prayer practice are core to who I am and my sense of purpose. I have always sought authentic community where together we can be in touch with mystery that underlies our daily lives. I encounter this gift in Family Constellation Work, writing groups, spiritual gatherings, social justice work, choral singing, or simply enjoying a meal with friends and family around the table.
I have been a member of the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati since 1985. Our tradition is Catholic, but we have evolved away from the clerical structures of the church. Our worship, led by various members, is marked by genuine attunement to God's presence, heartfelt spontaneity and openness. I have also found much growth from other spiritual paths, including Quaker practices and Buddhism.
Growing up in a community centered at the University of Notre Dame, I was impacted by all the spiritual and political stirrings of the 1960's and 1970's. My spirituality was nourished by a dynamic sense of societal transformation in the post-Vatican II Catholic church. I earned my M.A. in Campus Ministry from Fordham University in 1978. While in New York I served as Campus Minister at Marymount-Manhattan College. I then moved to Cincinnati to join the lively ministry team at St. George Church and Newman Center, where I served professionally until 1981. I married Gerry Becker that year, and we remained active in that spiritual community until we joined New Jerusalem in 1985.
In December, 1982, Gerry and I were deeply impacted by the stillbirth of our first child, Mollie. A year and a half later, we welcomed into the world our daughter Jane, and in 1986, our son Daniel. After four miscarriages, we adopted Tony in 1993.
My motherhood has been a great blessing as well as a crucible for my spiritual journey. It has been very challenging to experience each of our children's paths as their own. I have often felt powerless. This powerlessness has been a great spiritual teacher.
Anne Bernard Becker