Approaching the one-year anniversary of opening the first-ever Office of Mental Health Ministry in the Diocese of Phoenix, Thursday marked another big step in the development of the outreach. Representatives from parishes in 15 deaneries, clusters of parishes in a geographic area, were commissioned with their own Woman of the Well painting by Glenda Stevens to adorn their mental health ministry space known as “The Well” on Thursday. Taking place at Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust in Phoenix, this event marked the beginning of Mental Health Ministry sites spanning the Diocese of Phoenix.

“This gathering is an opportunity to recognize the 15 parishes that have been taking steps to implement the Mental Health Ministry in the Diocese of Phoenix,” said Maricela Campa, manager of the Office of Mental Health Ministry.

“It was a Holy Spirit moment,” said Steve Zabilski, president and CEO of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust when he recalled an early conversation with Bishop John Dolan about his desire for a mental health ministry. Mental health was an initiative the Virginia G. Piper Charitable trustees wanted to support but had not found the right fit until that providential conversation with Bishop Dolan.

Bishop Dolan reflected on his late sister, Mary, and her final note encouraging him to continue pursing mental health work.

“Each step is getting us closer to inviting our community to The Well, a place of encounter, a place where those experiencing challenges can gather and share their experiences and grow their relationship with God,” said Campa.

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