New children’s book


The sequel to my first children’s book is coming out soon – Zeesha’s Journey, an Easter Story. Stay tuned for details!


a story for Christmas and Easter

by Mary Ann Archer

Illustrations by Lena Shiffman

A young donkey learns from his wise mother to trust in God through good times and bad as he hears a bedtime story about his ancestor – Balaam’s donkey, his mother’s long-ago trip to Bethlehem, and his own task for the next day

“Tomorrow you will be ridden by a stranger,” said Zeesha’s mother to him softly one night.

A story came to me one day that tied together three Biblical donkeys and two strands of spirituality I’ve come to treasure – Celtic imagination, where donkeys can talk and angels are visible – and a child’s version of the Ignatian First Principal and Foundation, where each creature’s unique character is truly God’s glory.

Published by AK Classics. Order through this link or in Spanish at this link.

Shared Imagination was listed in the holiday issue of The New York Review of Books!

Last December, Mary Ann’s book was included on the Independent Press listing of this venerable and respected literary and review journal.  Available in print and online at https://www.nybooks.com

Shared Imagination cover

Using imagination in Ignatian-style meditation can connect people to the Divine and to each other and can deepen the spiritual experiences of daily life.  Shared Imagination delves into that notion, offering a creative and experiential channel to the Divine and describing the surprising ways this process can blossom in people’s lives.

Arising from author Mary Ann Archer’s experiences as a professional musician and spiritual director, this collection of personal spiritual narratives presents an exploration of the use of imagination in meditation for a clearer connection with the Divine.

Shared Imagination is available at Park Road Books, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

MaryAnn_0288 square high res

Mary Ann Archer is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and professional flutist/piccoloist.  She received her master of arts degree in spiritual direction from General Theological Seminary in New York City.  She has worked with individuals and groups in spiritual direction for more than thirty years, focusing on active imagination. A member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for twenty-six years, she now performs with orchestras across the South and lives with her husband, Frank, and their cats in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Feeling like a donkey? Healing from “second-class” experiences

Using her children’s book, Zeesha’s Tale, A Story for Christmas and Easter (free to participants), author/flutist/spiritual director Mary Ann Archer explores how we might use the three donkeys in her story to rediscover our unique gifts and calling.  

Have you ever seen spiritual truths no one else could, as did Balaam’s ass; or carried something to new birth as did Mary’s donkey; or helped others through dark times, as did the young colt who carried Jesus into Jerusalem?  Using imaginative meditation, writing, and gentle conversation, participants can see anew their worth through God’s eyes. Reclaim your value through these donkey tales! Mary Ann has given this workshop at Marquette University (for women professors and staff), for the Diocese of Western NC Deacon’s Retreat, and at The Haden Institute’s Sumer Dream and Spirituality Conference.