{Video} A Conversation with Artist Christine Hilbert

“Even when your heart is broken your hands remain open.” Christine Hilbert joins Lisa Schmidt for a quick chat about the original artwork “Reckless Love.” Christine hand painted this image to accompany The Well’s upcoming summer gathering on July 20. Learn more about Christine’s work via the quick video.

Reckless Love

2019 Summer at The Well Gathering

Saturday, July 20

Doors open at 8 AM | Conference begins at 9 AM | Vigil Mass at 4:30 PM

Tickets are now on sale at Eventbrite here

Registration deadline is Friday, July 12 unless the event is sold out.

As of June 28, this gathering is at full capacity. Please place your name on the waitlist here. We will release tickets as cancellations arise, starting with the first person on the waitlist. 

Event Price: $55 early bird price, $70 after June 21 or whenever allotted early bird quantities are sold out. Special price (in limited quantity) for religious sisters, consecrated women, and students.

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The Well women’s ministry invites women of all ages to our Reckless Love: Summer at The Well gathering on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Adel, Iowa.

Join women from the greater Des Moines area and beyond for a day of faith, fellowship, and fun. Doors open at 8:00 AM, allowing ample time for registration and coffee before we gather together with Morning Prayer beginning at 9:00 AM.

Our theme for the event is Reckless Love. Katie Patrizio is our featured speaker, and she will journey with us throughout the day providing several teaching moments rooted in scripture. Think of Katie as our tour guide as we journey together on this Reckless Love pilgrimage. Throughout the day, local women will also share testimony on how God has recklessly pursued them to pour out his abyss of love into their souls (see bios below).


The day will be full of the Church’s spiritual riches beginning with Morning Prayer from Liturgy of the Hours led by Victoria Carver, time for Adoration, personal time to pray with prayer teams, opportunity for confession, praise and worship music, and ending our gathering celebrating Mass – the full expression of God’s love poured out through Jesus in the Eucharist.


Unstructured time is incorporated into the schedule to allow for informal conversations with one another. Also, intimate spaces will be designated around the building for quiet conversations.

A prayerful invitation can have a powerful impact. We encourage you to pray about inviting a friend. Who is God asking you to be available to at The Well on July 20?


Plan on a fabulous lunch, yummy snacks, door prizes, and a fun raffle! And, of course, The Well always likes to throw in some surprises. Come and see for yourself!

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  • Registration opens Tuesday, May 21. Registration deadline is Friday, July 12 unless the event is sold out.
  • Early bird registration is available until June 21 or whenever allotted quantities are sold out.
  • A limited number of scholarships to assist with registration costs are available. Please reach out to Lisa Schmidt via email at [email protected] for information.
  • Donations for scholarships are greatly appreciated and can be paid for via the registration system.
  • We have a limited quantity of special price slots for religious sisters, consecrated women, and students. First come, first served.

Speaker Bios

Katie Patrizio, our keynote speaker, is the Director of Faith Formation at St. Cecilia Parish in Ames. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and a master’s degree in Biblical theology from John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego. Katie frequently teaches popular studies of Scripture and also serves as an instructor for the Catechetical Institute of the Diocese of Des Moines. When she’s not working for Jesus she enjoys good beer, bike rides, and daydreaming about her home state of California. Visit Katie's website at
Claire Hoeft and Nicole Forest began their friendship when Claire was pregnant with Kolbe. Claire had been searching for a family for Kolbe and was about 3 months from her due date when Nicole and her husband, Dominique, met her at an adoption agency. It didn't take long for Nicole and Dom to connect with Claire and after adopting Kolbe, that friendship continued into what is now more of an extended family dynamic six years later. Nicole was previously a member of St. Anthony's parish in Des Moines but has recently joined St. Patrick's in Perry after moving to Woodward. Nicole lives with her husband and 4 kids (all adopted). She works two days per week as a nurse and spends her other days as a stay-at-home mom. Claire lives in Urbandale and has an 8-year-old daughter, Alaina. She enjoys volunteering with the youth group and Confirmation program at her local parish, St. Pius X. Both Nicole and Claire are passionately pro-life and love sharing their story of the truth and beauty of adoption. Claire and Nicole have both experienced God's healing grace along their journey of adoption and their response is always an enthusiastic "yes" when asked to speak about that journey.
Rebecca Bahl is a wife and mother of three. Her family lives in Urbandale, Iowa and attends St. Francis of Assisi parish. She works part-time for her parish as a Nursery Coordinator but spends a majority of her time being a jack of all trades and a master of none including Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist, ministry volunteer, Burn boot camp survivor, and one of the last traditional scrapbook holdouts. She loves to read, travel, and soak up God’s good graces. With the woman at the well as our inspiration (John 4), Becca will share on her journey spending time with Jesus in prayer. While not always easy, her fidelity in giving Him daily time has produced spiritual fruit.
Lisa Schmidt has a heart for building community. With a Bachelor of Family Services and Master of Public Administration, her career has been devoted to improving the quality of life for others. Currently on hiatus from the professional workforce to care for her family, Lisa has become steadily immersed in freelance work through writing, speaking, and founding The Well women’s ministry. Along with her husband Deacon Joel and their four children, the Schmidts are parishioners at St. Pius X in Urbandale, Iowa. At our gathering and with Ezekiel and the vision of the dry bones as the backdrop of her story (Ezekiel 37), Lisa will share on the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
Stacy Halbach, emcee for our gathering, is married to Deacon Matt Halbach and is the lucky mom of 3 energetic boys, 1 sweet daughter, and 2 heaven babies. Although her primary calling is to her husband and kiddos, Stacy loves to be present with all kinds people! She adores her job as youth minister at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Des Moines and enjoys jewelry making, essential oils, running, and wine. The Halbachs are parishioners at St. Luke's in Ankeny.
Emily Schmid is a classic Iowa farm girl turned southwestern Arizona desert girl turned Iowa city girl. She loves books, movies, knitting, running, and spending time with people! A self-proclaimed "uber-extrovert," Emily loves being with people and sharing her love of the Lord with others. Emily shares the Gospel message most commonly through music as the Music Director at St. Francis Assisi in West Des Moines and as a praise and worship leader for various events around the Des Moines Diocese. Emily is excited to share her musical gifts at The Well and lead all in a deeper relationship with their one true love, Jesus Christ.


Is there an age requirement?

Women of all ages are welcome. For moms wondering if older teenage daughters can attend, we ask you to prayerfully make that decision. Please take a look at the agenda on our website and discern if our theme and schedule might be beneficial to your daughter’s spiritual growth.

Is this just for Des Moines women?

We’ve already heard of friends traveling from outside the greater Des Moines area to be with us on July 20. We also anticipate that the finest women in Des Moines will be there – a great chance to connect with other women of faith.

Is this just for Catholic women?

Not at all! Any woman wishing to deepen her friendship with Jesus is welcome. We believe the Reckless Love theme is relevant for all women of faith. Actually, we would be tickled pink to see an ecumenical group of women gathered together at The Well on July 20.

How should we dress?

This event is business casual. You may want to bring a sweater to accommodate for fluctuating temperatures.

What’s on the menu?

Continental breakfast items with coffee and drinks, a boxed lunch from In The Bag, and snacks will be available throughout the day. A gluten-free and vegetarian lunch option is available.

What should I bring?

Nothing is mandatory for you to bring. Please consider bringing along your Bible as we will dive into the Word. It also might be nice to have a journal with you as our schedule allows for reflection and writing time. Finally, please consider bringing a water bottle along to fill throughout the day at the beverage refilling stations.

What are my parking options?

Onsite parking is plentiful and free.

Do I have to bring a printed ticket to the event?

Nope! We’ll be ready for you to simply share your name at the check-in table.

What’s the refund policy?

Tickets are non-refundable but absolutely transferable through the Eventbrite ticket system. The Well cannot be responsible for the exchange of funds between individuals.

Can I volunteer at this event?

You bet! Please visit our Sign-Up Genius here. “The Wellies” welcome new energy into our team. This is a standing invitation.

How can I contact the organizer with questions?

Contact Lisa Schmidt at [email protected]

Three Announcements!

Three announcements: The release of our next episode in our Lenten podcast series, the winner of the Wellie NCAA tournament challenge, and save the date for our 2019 Summer at The Well gathering

We are reading, reflecting on, and discussing Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Fr. Jacques Philippe throughout the 2019 Lenten season.

On Saturday, March 2, nearly two hundred women attended Lent at The Well where our speakers all touched on the topic of peace. The talks from that gathering are posted below and can be listened to right from this page.

A study guide for the book can be downloaded here. It is published by and is designed to assist both small book study groups and individuals.

The book is divided into a preface and three chapters. The study guide follows that structure, presenting material into four sessions. Please note: we’ve divided the material into even smaller segments to accommodate a six-week Lenten study.

Suggested reading schedule

  • March 6 – March 12: Read Preface and all of Part 1: Interior Peace, The Road to Saintliness, pages 3-20
  • March 13-19: Read Part 2 – Chapters 1-4, pages 23-36
  • March 20-26: Read Part 2 – Chapters 5-10, pages 37-50
  • March 27-April 2: Read Part 2 – Chapters 11-15, pages 50-69
  • April 3 – April 9: Read Part 2 – Chapters 16-18, pages 69-82
  • April 10 – April 16: Read Part 3: What the Saints Tell Us, pages 85-110


Weekly episodes of The Water Jar podcast will feature a team of women reflecting on the themes of the weekly readings. The first episode in this series will be released on Ash Wednesday, March 6, with a new episode to follow over the next six Wednesdays throughout Lent.

How to listen: You can subscribe to The Water Jar podcast via iTunes (for iPhone) and/or Stitcher (Android devices) available on your mobile device. Download the app and search for “The Water Jar.” If you’d rather follow along via an Internet browser, simply stop back here where we’ll post new episodes as they are released or visit and “like” our Facebook page where new content and audio will also be posted each Wednesday.

Week One: Goodwill, A Necessary Condition for Peace

Click here to access this episode’s show notes.

Week Two: Delicacies of Love, Regaining Confidence in God

Click here to access this episode’s show notes.

Week Three: Abandon yourself anyway!

Click here to access this episode’s show notes.

Week Four: This One’s For Those Who Don’t Like the “Little Pink Book”

Click here to access this episode’s show notes.

Week Five: Peace and Perfectionism 

Click here to access this episode’s show notes.

An Invitation

We are looking for stories and testimonies from your experience journeying with searching for and maintaining peace of heart. We invite you to share with us. Contact us via email at: [email protected], leave a private message below, or reach out to us on our Facebook page.

Save the date

In celebration of a fruitful Lenten season, make plans to join us for our first Encounter at The Well on Thursday, May 9 from 7:00-9:00 PM at St. Augustin Church in Des Moines. The evening will include Adoration, music, and witness. Details to come.

Talks from the 2019 Lent at The Well Gathering



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