The Well, a sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph, began in March 2000 through the initiative of Marlene Schemmel, CSJ, and Judy Maher. The 4th floor of the LaGrange Center was converted to accommodate its needs. What was initially named The Women’s Well, a center for physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness, offered its first program in May 2000. At this time the CSJs were engaged in an Earth Spirituality program entitled Allium. Allium was established and led by Kathy Sherman, CSJ, Pat Bergen, CSJ and Janet Bolger, CSJ. Programming invited participants to recognize and affirm our communion with God and all creation.
Early in its history, The Women’s Well merged with Allium and became The Well, broadening its mission to include programs in Sacred Universe theology. Pat Bergen, CSJ, shaped The Well’s commitment to the New Story until she was called into Congregational leadership in 2007. Her efforts were resumed by Bridget Sperduto in 2009. Bridget, having been mentored into the consciousness of the New Story by Pat, continued The Well’s commitment through teaching and increased programming.
The healing ministry (massage, reiki, healing touch) of Chris March, CSJ, was incorporated into The Well in 2008. The Well’s commitment to mind, body, spirit activities now includes spiritual direction, and a variety on workshops and ongoing classes such as Yoga and QiGong, Drumming Circles and Kivo.
Retreats, an annual Summer Institute, a Sabbatical program, and our two Children’s programs —Earth Day field trips and The Stories of Oneness project — continue the evolution and are significant to the mission of The Well. In recent years program attendance has grown, and the hunger for a spirituality that meets the real world is evident. People find a community where it is safe to ask and explore the big questions, to build supportive relationships, and to evolve their consciousness.
We live in an evolutionary universe where the new is always unfolding. On July 1, 2013, The Well Spirituality Center became established as a separately incorporated 501c3 to help guarantee our existence into the future. During this time of transition, we have gathered input and spent considerable time considering where we have been and where we are going. Below is the fruit of our contemplation.
The Well Spirituality Center, a sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph, is creating a future for ONE and All.
We are committed to strengthening, healing, and calling forth the inherent wholeness of Earth, our human community and all creation.
We honor the reality of Spirit and cultivate unitive consciousness through reflective experiences, education, conversation, the arts, prayer and ritual.
Our context for exploring this oneness with God and all creation is the unfolding Story of the Universe.
Creating a Future for ONE and All.
We recognize …
We are active participants in a sacred Universe.
Love (God) is the center, source and direction within all that is.
Christ is the unfolding embodiment of Love and Unity.
Spirit permeates the Universe, inspiring and leading all to recognize our inherent oneness.
God’s primary revelation is the evolving story of the Universe.
The ongoing diminishment of planet Earth and claim our part in this devastation. We courageously engage with others to address and heal this reality.
Experiences of community and relationship deepen oneness and enkindle creative energy for co-creating a future filled with hope.
Diversity is essential and we believe our uniqueness and differences contribute to and enrich the whole.
And we recognize…
The power of interdependence to heal our illusion of separateness.
We engage in conscious evolution, believing it is essential for creating a world that works for ONE and All.
The Well’s Core Values
We value our deep connectedness with one another and all creation knowing that our futures are inseparable.
We provide a safe place where all are welcome to ask questions, break-open long held beliefs, explore connections and share stories.
We are a bridge for making connections and accompanying people in the transition from an old worldview to a new consciousness.
Transformation of Consciousness
Our programming explores and expands our images and understandings of God.
We foster the understanding and experience that our Universe is one sacred communion.
We invite people to listen deeply, be empowered by their wisdom and share their gifts to make a difference.
The Universe Story
In responding to the crisis of our time, we are guided by the beauty, creativity and expansiveness of our Universe.
Our activities imagine a hopeful future by exploring the faith journey and the call to be contemplative activists.
We reverence differences. We honor the universal truths of all religions and respect each person’s right to choose a spiritual path.
Our partnership with God and one another creates a future for ONE and All.