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Art of Presence Retreat- Assisi

August 14, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - August 20, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

A 6-day retreat-like workshop designed to help clinicians develop the professional and personal skills to practice compassionate presence in their clinical settings.

This retreat offers a unique environment and opportunity for health professionals from all faiths, beliefs and cultures to participate in an interdisciplinary retreat designed to experience respite and renewal, reflection and nourishment and ways to re-ignite one’s original call to serve others.

Designed for clinicians and medical practitioners (physicians, RNs, NPs, PAs, Chaplains, Social Workers, psychologists and others involved in clinical practice and education. No prior experience is required; however, experience with meditation or other contemplative practices is desirable.

Session themes include awareness of our own spiritual or personal beliefs and values that impact our vocations, responding to suffering, the different levels of compassionate presence, boundaries needed for compassionate practice, communicating communication with patients/families about spiritual distress and suffering, contemplative practices (eg meditation practices including lectio divina,music as a spiritual practice, journaling, breath work, among others) to nurture self-care and support the practice of compassionate presence. The retreat includes excursions to different sacred sites in Assisi and time for personal reflection at these sites or in the beautiful nature sites in Assisi.


Be engaged in a contemplative week of personal and professional renewal with experienced guides:

Christina Puchalski, M.D., Renowned Healthcare Clinician & Educator
Carolyn Jacobs PhD MSW, Contemplative Social Work Leader, Spiritual Director, and Educator
Michael Stillwater, Musical Artist & Educator
Doris Laesser Stillwater, Contemplative Psychotherapist
Edward O’Donnell, Spiritual Director & Educator

Getting There
The retreat is held at the Monastero di Sant’Andrea in Assisi, Italy. Most participants fly into Rome or Florence and then travel to Assisi by train, a trip of about 3 hours. For drivers, some parking is available at the monastery.

Retreat Tuition for 2019 is $1,095. A $250 deposit holds your space; space is limited.

Accommodations: The monastery provides meals and sleeping accommodations. There is an abundance of vegetarian offerings, as well as meat, for meals. If you enjoy Italian cooking, we trust you will be happy with the food! A double occupancy room and meals are estimated at $500; a single occupancy room and meals are estimated at $600 as available. Actual costs will be determined by the dollar-euro conversion rates at the time of the retreat. We ask that the lodging and food cost be paid in euros in Assisi (this is what works best for the sisters). You can convert dollars to euros in Assisi.

Continuing Education Credits: 26.5 Continuing education credits for physicians and nurses are included in the registration fee.

Register here


August 14, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
August 20, 2019 @ 12:00 pm


Cherron Gardener Thomas (for GWISH)
001 202 994-6220
View Organizer Website


Monastero San Andrea
Assisi, Umbria Italy + Google Map