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Author Biography


Articles & Reviews

Coming Alive: Memoir

by Anne Ierardi


Winner of the 2022 Next Generation Book Award Category: LGBTQ+!


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While standing on the seminary altar in Cambridge next to the first ordained Episcopal woman priest, Anne Ierardi was touched by the Spirit with an extraordinary call to ordination. In her inspiring and engaging memoir, Coming Alive, Ierardi writes of her efforts to honor her identity as a Catholic woman while integrating her call to the Protestant ministry. Along the way she invites us into her Italian family, studies art in Italy, and comes out in Boston. She falls in love with a doctor at an astrology party, and together they birth a healing ministry, bringing together people of diverse beliefs and backgrounds. Ierardi recounts her many callings to live as an artist, counselor, and minister while facing challenges in the early days of gay, feminist, and religious change. A story of courage, persistence, and authenticity, Coming Alive will speak to people of all ages and experiences, providing hope and possibilities for living and loving well.

RELIGION / Christian Ministry / General

ISBN: 978-1-956056-19-8 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
ISBN: 978-1-956056-25-9 (print; softcover; perfect bound)

LCCN: 2021952934

Released February 2022

200 pages; 66 full-color and black-and-white images


Author Biography

Anne M. Ierardi is an expressive artist and writer. Creative expression, whether visual art, writing, or music, defines Anne’s identity and search for wholeness and the Holy. She cofounded Healthsigns Center, a sanctuary for counseling, contemplative worship, and community gatherings. Healthsigns published Walking with Grief: A Healing Journey with her impressionistic paintings. She is a member of the Authors Guild, the Cape Cod Writers Center, and the International Women Writer’s Guild. Born in Boston to a large extended Italian-American family, she traveled from Boston to California to Italy and finally to Cape Cod to nurture her passion for art and writing. In her early thirties she experienced a faith epiphany leading to seminary at the Episcopal Divinity School (M.Div.) and to a doctoral program (D.Min.) at Boston University, writing her thesis on women’s faith development. Dr. Ierardi practiced for many years as a pastoral psychotherapist. Rev. Dr. Ierardi is an ordained minister in the American Baptist and United Church of Christ traditions, serving people of all backgrounds. With her wife, Dr. Judy Recknagel, she developed wholistic approaches to the healing arts and astrology. They were honored for their leadership of the Cape Cod Coalition of Welcoming Congregations and are listed in the National Women’s Hall of Fame Book of Lives & Legacies. You can view her art, blogs, and writings at



“This wonderful memoir offers insight into the plain goodness of a life full of integrity. The author finds a way, and when that is lacking for a conscious Catholic woman, she makes a way with deep authenticity. We are born into times we do not choose and cannot always change. Readers learn how marvelous it is to embrace vocations and actualize talents the world needs, regardless.”
Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., Co-director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)

Coming Alive is infused with the wonder of Being Fully Alive through life’s changes and challenges. It is about close observation, reflection, self-understanding and transformation. Coming Alive is a coming-out journey, about coming into one’s own as a person and as an artist. Ethnicity, family, religion, and gender issues drive the forward motion. Beautifully written, it is a pleasure to read. Anne Ierardi has written an inspiring book, one that will speak to many readers.”
Kathleen Spivack, author of Unspeakable Things (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) and With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz, and Others (Northeastern University Press, 2012)

Articles and Reviews

Michaela Chesin, “A Painter and Minister Embraces New Colors in Her Memoir, the Rev. Anne Ierardi Explores Faith, Her Upbringing, and Her Sexual
,” The Provincetown Independent (June 8, 2022)

D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review link


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