Kathryn Ann Clarke earned the BA degree at Saint Xavier University in Criminal Justice/Counseling. For over twenty years, she has counseled women victims of domestic violence. As a Certified Law Enforcement Instructor, she has presented numerous training programs for counselors, prosecutors, police officers, and judges.
Clarke's 2004 novel The Breakable Vow, a work of young adult fiction, explores issues of abusive relationships and domestic violence, and is accompanied by a curriculum guide for use in schools.
In September 2001, Clarke visited the town of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a site of alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary, and soon thereafter began to write messages which she has claimed are from Jesus, from the Virgin Mary, and from many other Catholic saints. Clarke stated she received these messages in prayer (as interior locutions).
In 2003 she began to publish them in ten books under the general title "Direction for Our Times as Given to 'Anne', a lay apostle", saying she was adopting a pseudonym to protect her family. The first four volumes were issued by CMJ Marian Publishers based in Chicago by May 2004. On October 15, 2004, "Anne" recorded the last message of the ten volumes, and several more volumes of the set were issued in December 2004. Volumes 5 and 8 were published in 2013.
Clarke also reported a new message for the world each month from December 2004 to August 2012.
These are the titles of the ten books:Volume One: Thoughts on Spirituality
Volume Two: Conversations with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
Volume Three: Part 1: God the Father Speaks to His Children, Part 2: Blessed Mother Speaks to Priests and Bishops
Volume Four: Part 1: Jesus the King, Part 2: Heaven Speaks to Priests, Part 3: Jesus Speaks to Sinners
Volume Five: Jesus the Redeemer
Volume Six: Heaven Speaks to Families
Volume Seven: Greetings From Heaven
Volume Eight: Resting in the Heart of the Savior
Volume Nine: Angels
Volume Ten: Jesus Speaks to His Apostles
'Direction for Our Times' is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in December 2004, with offices in the US and in Ireland and dedicated to spreading the "Anne" messages.
Starting in September 2004, retired New Orleans Archbishop Philip Hannan promoted the "Anne" messages through his television organization FOCUS and supported them with a letter of endorsement which was published in each volume. FOCUS withdrew its support after the death of Archbishop Hannan in 2011.
In September 2005, retired Bishop Federico O. Escaler, S.J., who served as bishop of Ipil in the Philippines from 1980 to 1997, endorsed the Volumes and attempted to grant them an Imprimatur. Canon 824 of the Code of Canon Law assigns this authority to the current local Ordinary of a place.
In August 2011, Catholic evangelists Sr. Briege McKenna and Fr. Kevin Scallon publicly withdrew their former support for Direction for Our Times.
Theologian Mark Miravalle has praised the "Anne" messages, spoken at conferences about them, and defended Clarke from criticisms.
In 2012, author Kevin Symonds questioned Clarke's remuneration from DFOT and her association with Karla Fiaoni, a lawyer in the Chicago area with former ties to the pro-choice movement.
DFOT states that it publishes nothing without the permission of the local ordinary, Bishop Leo O'Reilly of the Diocese of Kilmore in Ireland, who has submitted all of her writings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.
Bishop O'Reilly of Kilmore formed a theological commission to study the "Anne" writings in 2009. As of 2013, it has not published any statement.
Clarke married, became a mother of one child, and was divorced after that year of marriage, all before the age of 20. She had been a victim of domestic violence. Eleven years later she remarried, and now resides in Ireland with her husband, a cattle farmer, and their six children.