About Anne

Anne enjoys exploring the inner workings of the human heart in her writings and family systems workshops. She wrote Ollie Ollie In Come Free: A Memoir of Swallowed Time, in an unfiltered young girl's voice, in order to communicate the raw realities of a child's secret inner world. The book, published in 2014, emerged out of eight years of intensive inner work, during which Anne unearthed her frozen grief over the childhood losses of her older siblings.

During the years 2015 to 2019, Anne published a blog on line,  "Musings About What's Really Real." She adapted these twenty-seven posts, which explore the spiritual, psychological, and political depths of daily life, to create a book of essays, Fresh Springs Deep Down (November, 2020).

Anne grew up in South Bend, Indiana, as part of a large, lively, and high-functioning Catholic family. The first three children died at various young ages and through random circumstances. Anne, though shy and sensitive, was an honors student and appeared on the surface, like the rest of her family, to be undaunted by the repeated tragedy.

While new babies kept arriving, Anne's mother, Mollie Bernard,  founded the Stanley Clark School, a still thriving elementary school in South Bend. Anne's father, Leon, taught history at the University of Notre Dame. He developed multiple sclerosis when Anne was in elementary school, but continued to teach until his death many years later. After Mollie turned the school over to others, she became a pioneering religious education director for many years, implementing the progressive vision of Vatican II. The family spent a year in France while Leon was on sabbatical in 1968-1969. They returned to a changing political and cultural landscape which Anne explores in her memoir.

Anne studied at Indiana University, the Sorbonne, University of Pennsylvania (M.A. in French) and Fordham University (M.A. in Religious Education). In 1978 she took a position as a campus and parish minister in Cincinnati, and married Gerry Becker in 1981. Their first child, Mollie, died at birth. The traumatic impact of this event, along with the near death of their third child, Daniel, launched Anne on a  journey of psychoanalysis to explore the hidden lifelong effects of her siblings' deaths. Meanwhile Anne stayed very active mothering her daughter Jane and son Daniel, and, after four miscarriages, adopted their youngest child, Tony, in 1993.

Anne has a passion for environmental concerns, justice issues, and sustainable lifestyle. She has been a member for thirty years of New Jerusalem, an alternative spiritual community in the Catholic tradition. She enjoys singing in Musica Sacra, a classical ensemble, and in Threshold Singers, a bedside ministry. 

From 2001 to her retirement in 2018, Anne  worked at a private learning center as a reading specialist.  She facilitates family constellation workshops, which blend her ongoing interests in history, psychology and spirituality to explore the effects of ancestral trauma on family systems. She and Gerry live in Cincinnati.