The bass guitar vibrations shake the walls.  

Rows of chairs along a center aisle are filled at a valley parish every first Friday. 

Some people are sitting, some kneeling, and some standing. Others are found sitting crisscrossed before the altar gazing at the Beloved in the monstrance. While others take a posture of surrender and lie prostate in front of Jesus. 

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Some cry, overwhelmed with joy and consolation. Others sit in serene peace, others stand with their hands raised up in front of them showing praise to the King. Some line up against a wall waiting for the sacrament of Confession. The Lord is filling them, filling their need.

They thirst for more 

Human beings thirst. It is not just water that they thirst for. They thirst for more.  

John 4:14 says, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 

This is what “The Well” worship nights are all about and how their name came to be.  

“The Well is a gathering [for adults] to worship and have a place to come and just be around other people that love the Lord and want to pray together,” says Stephanie Salinas, one of the founders of the ministry.  

The Well worship nights offer Adoration, a full worship band, a speaker, Confession and community and take place every first Friday of the month at a parish across the valley. 

In the beginning 

The Well worship nights began when wife and husband, Stephanie and Chilo Salinas and Jeremiah Salinas, Chilo’s brother, the founders, wanted to create a space for their friends to come together and worship during COVID-19 while there were restrictions on group gatherings in the parishes.  

With the permission of Fr. Paul Ybarra, the former pastor of St. John Vianney (SJV) parish in Goodyear, Ariz., the husband and wife and brother team, decided to invite a couple of their friends to a worship night at SJV where the brothers were involved in the youth/young adult and music ministries at SJV and Stephanie the director of religious education. Stephanie invited about 20 friends.  

“Let’s make something where we can pray with a few of our friends and let’s see who shows up. We didn’t ever think that it was gonna be like, an apostolate or anything like that. We just wanted to see how many of our friends were down to pray with us,” Stephanie said.  

“A whole new life” 

“Our literal plan was to just do it… once a month at our home parish” said Chilo.  

“Yeah, let’s do it until everything gets back to normal and then we were gonna stop. But then, it picked up a whole new life that we didn’t know was coming,” said Chilo. 

They quickly saw numbers in attendance rise. The first night went from 60 to one 120 the next. Now, the number of attendance ranges from 150-200 every night. 

They didn’t expect to be a traveling ministry, but soon enough, parishes around the valley started to invite them to their parish. 

“We expected it to fill a void in our lives… we’re made for community, and we couldn’t replace that… We never thought it was going to be going into its fourth year,” shared Stephanie. 

The Salinas’ have always emphasized that The Well is led by God and will continue until God calls them to stop.  

Filling a need 

Dulce Aguirre | The Catholic Sun

Stephanie and Chilo said that prayer, Adoration and Confession were always a part of the plan.  

People have thanked them for having Confession available. Since most attendees are young adults with busy schedules during the day, having Confession available on Friday night is a blessing. They are also grateful to the priests who have made themselves available for the sacrament. 

Married couples have made The Well worship nights a date night. They’ve had people tell them that they will go get dinner, go to the worship night, get dessert and then go home.  

Chilo hopes that it continues to “provide a safe space for them to come and rejuvenate and recommit themselves to the Lord.”  

“One thing we were mindful of from the beginning was that we wanted it to be an encounter not just for those that have been following their faith or have an active relation with Jesus, but for those that have been away from the Church, and this is a great entry point back into their faith,” said Stephanie. 

Last month, someone shared that they had not been to Confession in 10 years. A person’s simple invitation led them to be reconciled with the Lord and because of that time of prayer, they were able to feel peace again.  

Another testimony a few months ago came from a young man who shared that he had an active addiction to drugs and was struggling. A friend invited him to come to The Well and that night he felt like he had been freed from the addiction. 

Many of the attendees are core members of other ministries and The Well worship night serves as a way for them to also receive.  


Building community is part of the evening after worship and Adoration where attendees can be found having conversations with peers. On some nights, the hospitality crew serves coffee and treats. Other times people go out to eat to keep the conversation going.  

Dulce Aguirre | The Catholic Sun

Chilo likes to compare The Well worship nights to a watering hole in the forest where the different animals in the forest come to get their fill and go back to their community. 

One of the goals is to get people to go back and connect to their parishes. “We are called to go back. You know, Jesus says go and make disciples of all nations… He’s always telling us to go and spread the good news, so I think that’s just what we try to do,” said Stephanie.  

The Salinas would like all young adults to know that they matter in the Church. The world needs to see young people, graduates, engaged couples and young married couples that are in this world and have a relationship with Jesus.  

For more information on The Well worship nights, follow them on their Instagram account @thewellphx.  

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