19th Annual GWish Art of Presence Retreat - Assisi, Italy

A sunset over a church in Assisi, Italy

August 16-22, 2024

The annual GWish Art of Presence Retreat offers a sacred space for you to contemplate your own spirituality and deepen your commitment to your call to serve. This retreat is designed for health care practitioners—doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, chaplains—as well as other professionals open to deepening their spiritual lives. All seekers are welcome, regardless of faith, belief system, or culture.

Now is your chance to visit a contemplative and beautiful city, visited by millions each year. During this one-of-a-kind retreat, we will experience a much-needed pause and reflect on what gives meaning in our lives. We will also explore the importance of being present not only with our patients, but with ourselves.

City of Assisi, Italy in daylight

GWish Retreat: A Spiritual Experience

Health professionals and providers from many disciplines who care for patients and families are invited to participate in an interdisciplinary retreat designed to provide respite and renewal, reflection and nourishment, and to re-ignite your passion for your vocation.

Experience what it means to be a compassionate presence to those you serve. Understand the role of personal boundaries as you care for those who are deeply suffering and explore how your own spirituality enables you to practice compassionate presence.

Dedicate this time to your professional well-being through reflection, small group sharing, journaling, meditation, and taking time for yourself.

In this retreat you will:

  • Experience peaceful presence through meditation, journaling, and sharing.
  • Learn tools, skills, and rituals to share with patients and colleagues.
  • Reflect on your own commitment to your chosen vocation.
  • Reinforce personal boundaries when caring for patients.
  • Meet in small groups to listen, share, and support.
  • Explore your own spirituality and how it helps you be present to the people you serve, especially those who are suffering.
  • Give yourself time off from the everyday demands of your work.
  • Earn CE credits for participating.

Join us for the GWish Art of Presence Retreat and bring a deeper meaning and purpose to your practice. Set aside August 16-22, 2024 to contemplate your call to serve at the GWish Art of Presence Retreat.

 

 

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GWish Retreats: Facilitators for This Year’s Art of Presence Retreat:

Christina Puchalski

Christina Puchalski, MD, FACP, FAAHPM Physician and Founder of The George Washington University Institute for Spirituality*

Carolyn Jacobs

Carolyn Jacobs, PhD, MSW.
Contemplative Social Work Leader, Spiritual Director, and Educator

Mario Cagna

Mario Cagna, MDiv. Chaplain, Pastoral Care, Genoa, Italy

Edward O'Donnell

Edward O'Donnell, M.A.
Spiritual Director and Educator

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the venue for the retreat?

Monastero di Sant'Andrea
Vicolo Sant'Andrea, Assisi, Italy

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Who should attend this retreat?

This retreat is designed for health care practitioners—doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, physical/occupational therapists, chaplains—as well as other professionals open to deepening their spiritual lives. All seekers are welcome, regardless of faith, belief system, or culture.

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Do I make my own travel arrangements?

Yes, please make your own travel arrangements. Please contact Cherron Gardner Thomas at
gwish@gwu.edu if you have any questions. Plan to arrive at the Monastero di Sant'Andrea on Friday, August 16, 2024. The retreat starts at 7:30pm with dinner followed by the opening session. The retreat ends at noon on Thursday, August 22nd.

Fly into Fiumicino Airport, Rome. There is a train that will take you to the Train Station in Rome called Roma Termini. From there you can get trains to Assisi, Italy and take a brief cab ride to the Monastery. The journey from Roma Termini to Assisi is approximately 2 hours and 51 minutes by train. Alternatively, if you rent a car or taxi at the airport it will take approximately 2.5 hours.

The journey from Roma Termini to Assis is approximately 2 hours and 51 minutes by train. Alternatively, if you rent a car or taxi at the airport it will take approximately 2.5 hours. The taxi fare from the train station in Assisi to the monastery is around 6 euros.

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What is the registration cost for attending the GWish 2024 retreat?
  • Tuition fee: $1,195.00
  • $250 deposit holds a space. Deposit due May 1, 2024. Full payment due by Monday, July 1, 2024. Our website will be updated with a link for online payment.
  • Air/ground transportation and lodging with meals is not included in the registration. The cost of lodging with meals will be paid in euros at the monastery by each attendee.

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What is included in the registration cost of $1,195.00?

Six-day retreat that includes contemplative practices, presentations from leaders, group sharing, reflection, time for quiet, time to explore the city of Assisi, tools for clinical practice of compassionate presence.

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What is the cost for accommodation and meals?

Accommodation cost for August 16-22:

  • Single occupancy rooms: 465 euros (80 euros per person per day; meals included, only one dinner not included) as available.
  • Double occupancy rooms: 435 euros (75 euros per person per day; meals included, only one dinner not included).

There will be one planned dinner outside the monastery.

City tax: 6 Euros per person (2 euros per night for the first three nights)

How do I pay?

  • City Tax: Cash (euros).
  • Accommodation and meals: Cash (euros) or credit card.

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Are there any scholarships available?

No scholarships are available this year.

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What is your refund policy?

Refund Policy 2024

Retreat Tuition for 2024 is $1,195. You can register using a $250 deposit to hold your space. The deposit will be refunded if a written request is received on or before May 31, 2024; after that date the deposit is nonrefundable.

Full Registration Refund Policy:

  • Written cancellations received before Friday, June 14, 2024 are eligible for a full refund.
  • Written cancellations received between June 14, 2024 and July 1, 2024 are eligible for a refund of 50%, minus a $50 processing fee.
  • Tuition is not refundable after July 1, 2024.
    • Registrations can be transferred to a colleague, with a written authorization from the original registrant.

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Will I get CE credits for attending the retreat?

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACGME) to provide continuing education credits to physicians and nurses. Other attendees receive a certificate of completion to submit to their accrediting bodies for consideration of credits.

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