Direction for Our Times (DFOT) is dedicated to spreading God’s messages as revealed in the Volumes. We have offices in Ireland and the U.S.A.
We are governed by a Board of Directors. Our staff is quite small and includes a number of volunteers working from several different countries. Anne plays an active role in the direction and administration of the organization.
Dr. Mark Miravalle, professor of Theology and Mariology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, speaks about private revelation…
A Letter From Anne, a lay apostle
Dear Reader, I am a wife, mother of six, and a Secular Franciscan.
At the age of 20, I was divorced for serious reasons and with pastoral support in this decision. In my mid-20s, I was a single parent, working and bringing up a daughter. As a daily Mass communicant, I saw my faith as sustaining and had begun a journey toward unity with Jesus through the Secular Franciscan Order or Third Order.
My sister traveled to Medjugorje and came home on fire with the Holy Spirit. After hearing of her beautiful pilgrimage, I experienced an even more profound conversion. During the following year, I experienced various levels of deepened prayer, including a dream of the Blessed Mother in which she asked me if I would work for Christ. During the dream, she showed me that this special spiritual work would mean I would be separated from others in the world. She actually showed me my extended family and how I would be separated from them. I told her that I did not care. I would do anything asked of me.
Shortly after, I became sick with endometriosis. I have been sick ever since, with one thing or another. My sicknesses are always the types that mystify doctors in the beginning. This is part of the Cross and I mention it because so many suffer in this way. I was told by my doctor that I would never conceive children. As a single parent, this did not concern me as I assumed it was God’s will. Soon after, I met a wonderful man. My first marriage had been annulled and we married and conceived five children.
Spiritually speaking, I had many experiences that included what I now know to be interior locutions. These moments were beautiful and the words still stand out firmly in my heart. But I did not get excited because I was busy offering up illnesses and exhaustion. I took it as a matter of course that Jesus had to work hard to sustain me as He had given me a lot to handle. In looking back, I see that He was preparing me to do His work. My preparation period was long, difficult and not very exciting. From the outside, I think people thought, man, that woman has bad luck. From the inside, I saw that while my sufferings were painful and long lasting, my little family was growing in love, in size and in wisdom, in the sense that my husband and I certainly understood what was important and what was not important. Our continued crosses did that for us.
Various circumstances compelled my husband and me to move with our children far from my loved ones. I offered this up and must say it is the most difficult thing I have had to contend with. Living in exile brings many beautiful opportunities to align with Christ’s will. However, you have to continually remind yourself that you are doing that. Otherwise you just feel sad. After several years in “exile,” I finally got the inspiration to go to Medjugorje. It was actually a gift from my husband for my fortieth birthday. I had tried to go once before, but circumstances prevented the trip and I understood it was not God’s will. Finally, though, it was time and my eldest daughter and I found ourselves in front of St. James church. It was her second trip to Medjugorje.
I did not expect or consider that I would experience anything out of the ordinary. My daughter, who loved it on her first trip, made many jokes about people looking for miracles. She affectionately calls Medjugorje a carnival for religious people. She also says it is the happiest place on earth. This young woman initially went there as a rebellious 14-year-old child, who took the opportunity to travel abroad with her Aunt. She returned calm and respectful, prompting my husband to say we would send all our teenagers on pilgrimage.
At any rate, we had a beautiful five days. I experienced a spiritual healing on the mountain. My daughter rested and prayed. A quiet but significant thing happened to me. During my communions, I spoke with Jesus conversationally. I thought this was beautiful, but it had happened before on occasion so I was not stunned or overcome. I remember telling others that communions in Medjugorje were powerful. I came home, deeply grateful to Our Lady for bringing us there.
The conversations continued all that winter. At some time in the six months that followed our trip, the conversations leaked into my life and came at odd times throughout the day. Jesus began to direct me with decision and I found it more and more difficult to refuse when He asked me to do this or that. I told no one.
During this time, I also began to experience direction from the Blessed Mother. Their voices are not hard to distinguish. I do not hear them in an auditory way, but in my soul or mind. By this time I knew that something remarkable was occurring and Jesus was telling me that He had special work for me, over and above my primary vocation as wife and mother. He told me to write the messages down and that He would arrange to have them published and disseminated. Looking back, it took Him a long time to get me comfortable enough where I was willing to trust Him. I trust His voice now and will continue to do my best to serve Him, given my constant struggle with weaknesses, faults, and the pull of the world.
Please pray for me as I continue to try to serve Jesus. Please answer “yes” to Him because He so badly needs us and He is so kind. He will take you right into His heart if you let him. I am praying for you and am so grateful to God that He has given you these words. Anyone who knows Him must fall in love with Him, such is His goodness. If you have been struggling, this is your answer. He is coming to you in a special way through these words and the graces that flow through them.
Please do not fall into the trap of thinking that He cannot possibly mean for you to reach high levels of holiness. As I say somewhere in my writings, the greatest sign of the times is Jesus having to make do with the likes of me as His secretary. I consider myself the B team, dear friends. Join me and together we will do our little bit for Him.
Message received from Jesus immediately following
my writing of the above biographical information:
You see, my child, that you and I have been together for a long time. I was working quietly in your life for years before you began this work. Anne, how I love you. You can look back through your life and see so many “yes” answers to Me. Does that not please you and make you glad? You began to say “yes” to Me long before you experienced extraordinary graces. If you had not, My dearest, I could never have given you the graces nor assigned this mission to you. Do you see how important it was that you got up every day, in your ordinary life, and said “yes” to your God despite difficulty, temptation, and hardship? You could not see the big plan as I saw it. You had to rely on your faith. Anne. I tell you today, it is still that way. You cannot see My plan, which is bigger than your human mind can accept. Please continue to rely on your faith as it brings Me such glory. Look at how much I have been able to do with you simply because you made a quiet and humble decision for Me. Make another quiet and humble decision on this day and every day, saying, “I will serve God.” Last night you served Me by bringing comfort to a soul in pain. You decided against yourself and for Me, through your service to him. There was gladness in heaven, Anne. You are mine. I am yours. Stay with Me, My child. Stay with Me.
— Anne, a lay apostle
History of Mission
From the Beginning
In the spring of 2003, at the direction of our Lord, Anne began to record her experiences. This would come to be known as Volume One, Thoughts on Spirituality. This was the beginning of her role as Anne, a lay apostle for Jesus Christ the Returning King.
In July 2003, our Lord indicated to Anne that her writings were to be published and disseminated.
At this time Anne submitted the writings to Bishop Leo O’Reilly and her parish priest, Father John Murphy, and began to meet with both men regularly.
In August 2003, Anne’s friend contacted Jim Gilboy, of Soul Assurance Prayer Plan, and asked him to consider publishing these writings. Jim indicated that he had no interest in publishing any other private revelations. He ended the conversation with “I work for Our Lady, so drop them off and I’ll look them over.” Jim reviewed the messages and met with Anne and after receiving permission from Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Jim printed Volumes One through Four.
Rome and the Personal Messages for Pope John Paul II
In January 2004, Anne recorded a series of twelve personal messages for Pope John Paul II. Per our Lord’s instructions, Anne asked Jim Gilboy to deliver them to the Holy Father. Jim agreed, although he had no viable connection to Rome at this time. Soon, though, a series of connections emerged and opened a path to Rome enabling Jim and a small group to meet at the Vatican with a Cardinal, a long-time friend of Pope John Paul II.
On Holy Saturday, April 10, 2004, the group met with the Cardinal and presented what is now Volumes One through Four of the series entitled Direction for Our Times as given to Anne, a lay apostle. Jim and the group explained that Anne received twelve personal messages for the Holy Father, which they carried in a sealed envelope. The Cardinal asked many questions about Anne and her obedience to her bishop and the Church. The Cardinal agreed to take the twelve personal messages to the Holy Father the next day at their brunch on Easter Sunday. The Cardinal directed Jim Gilboy to take a copy of the Volumes to (then) Cardinal Ratzinger’s office, which he did.
On Easter Sunday, the group was privileged to sit on the same platform as the altar for Easter Sunday Mass. After Mass, they saw the Cardinal moving toward his van to attend brunch with the Holy Father. The sisters accompanying him carried the sealed envelope containing the personal messages for Pope John Paul II.
The following Wednesday, April 14, 2004, the group had a personal audience with the Holy Father following the general audience.
Publishing the Written Works
By the end of May 2004, publication of Volumes One through Four had been completed and the process of disseminating them to religious bookstores and the general public began.
In September 2004, Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Orleans, Louisiana began reading the Volumes. He was so inspired by these words from Heaven that he decided his Focus Worldwide Television Network needed to play a role in getting the Volumes distributed quickly. Archbishop Hannan also spoke with Anne’s bishop, met with Anne and filmed a series of interviews with Anne and her team. These programs launched the mission throughout the United States.
On October 15, 2004, Anne recorded the last message for Volume Ten. Jesus indicated that this body of work, the Volumes, was complete.
At the end of October 2004, two religious sisters returned to Rome to deliver the remaining sets of Volumes to The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and to the Cardinal. The Cardinal met with the sisters and was given copies of the remaining Volumes Five through Ten. The following Sunday, October 31, 2004, the sisters were granted a private audience with the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, in his papal apartment.
Currently Volume Eight is not in print. Anne’s bishop, the Most Reverend Leo O’Reilly, will decide when this Volume should be published.
Formation of Direction for Our Times
In December 2004, due to the continued growth of the mission, Direction for Our Times emerged as a separate nonprofit organization. The organization was created to focus specifically on the mission of spreading the messages revealed to Anne, a lay apostle.
The United States office of Direction for Our Times is located in Justice, Illinois. The European office location is in County Cavan, Ireland.
Anne works within the magisterium of the Church and in complete obedience to her local bishop. Nothing that Anne writes is published without the permission of her bishop or his designated representative.
Bishop Leo O’Reilly of the Diocese of Kilmore in Ireland has assigned a chaplain to work on a full-time basis with Direction for Our Times. All writings have been submitted to the bishop and he has given permission for their publication. In addition to the permission for publication, the bishop has submitted the writings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
On June 8, 2010, Bishop Leo O’Reilly formed a theological commission to examine the messages and enquire into the nature of the experiences of Anne, a lay apostle. This commission’s work is underway and is to report to Bishop O’Reilly in due course.
Regarding Anne’s writings and the organization, Direction for Our Times, the bishop has issued a letter which states:
To Whom It May Concern:
Direction for Our Times (DFOT) is a religious movement founded by “Anne,” a lay apostle from our diocese who wishes to remain anonymous. The movement is in its infancy and does not as yet enjoy canonical status. I have asked a priest of the diocese, Fr. Darragh Connolly, to assist in the work of the movement and to ensure that in all its works and publications it remains firmly within the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church.
I have known “Anne,” the founder of the movement, for several years. She is a Catholic in good standing in the diocese, a wife and mother of small children, and a woman of deep spirituality. From the beginning, she has always been anxious that everything connected with the movement be subject to the authority of the Church. She has submitted all her writings to me and will not publish anything without my permission. She has submitted her writings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and I have done so, as well.
In so far as I am able to judge, she is orthodox in her writings and teaching. Her spirituality and the spiritual path that she proposes to those who wish to accept it are in conformity with the teachings of the Church and of the great spiritual writers of the past and present.
Bishop of Kilmore
16 June 2006
For More Information – Clergy
Clergy members seeking further information may contact Fr. Darragh Connolly, Bishop O’Reilly’s designated representative in these matters, by calling the DFOT Chicago office at (708) 496-9300.