Spirituality Center Focuses on Women

Article excerpt

Byline: Janet Hallman

Ruth Baggech and Bernardine Dominick have a desire to see women tap into the center of their lives.

So when they opened their spirituality center in Bartlett in July, The Center seemed like the perfect name.

"We said, 'Isn't it wonderful to hear somebody say: I'm going to The Center?' " Baggech said. "If we can help people to get there, we'd be successful."

The women - both Sisters of St. Joseph, Third Order of St. Francis - talked for years about starting a place where women of all religions could address different issues in their lives and find support in exploring their spirituality.

"I think that there are levels of consciousness occurring in the universe today, and I think it's coming together," Dominick said. "People want to see how they fit into the universe."

Baggech and Dominick see The Center as a natural outgrowth of changes they experienced in their own lives in the renewal movement following the Second Vatican Council.

In particular, the sisters began moving away from the idea that there is a distinction between the spiritual and the profane, the heavenly and the earthly.

"What we really wanted was to have a place where there is understanding that the universe is full of the spirit, the spiritual life," Dominick said.

With financial support from their order, Baggech and Dominick - both former teachers - started offering a few workshops out of a wing of rooms at Immaculata Convent in Bartlett.

Offerings this winter will include Baggech's "Let Me Tell You a Story," where participants can listen and offer thoughts on different stories. Other instructors will offer seminars on grief, aging and the spirituality of quilting.

Dominick also leads a watercolor painting workshop, complete with meditation, storytelling and guided imagery. …