Events » Art of Presence – 16th Annual Healthcare Renewal Retreat

Art of Presence – 16th Annual Healthcare Renewal Retreat

Monastery in Assisi, Italy

2021 GWish Art of Presence Retreat, Monastero di Sant'Andrea, Assisi, Italy
July 22-28, 2021

GWish Retreats: A Time of Renewal

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. Designed for health care practitioners—doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, chaplains, etc.— all seekers are welcome, regardless of faith, belief system, or culture. 

We invite you to reignite your passion for your vocation during a week of restoration and spiritual nourishment. Join us for this year’s GWish Art of Presence Retreat and bring a deeper meaning and purpose to your practice. 

Assisi, Italy“I have never in my entire life felt this much energy. This is not a retreat. It’s a pilgrimage. It’s spiritual. It’s energy. It’s communication and communion.”

—Rebecca Franz-Paul RN, CNP, Four Seasons Hospice Hendersonville, NC, Art of Presence Attendee



Monastery in Assisi, Italy“Taking time out with a group of people with structure, community, time by myself in an environment so rich with spirituality— this has to be one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in a long time.” 

—Peter Morel Chaplain, St. Andrew’s Hospital Adelaide, Australia, Art of Presence Attendee


GWish Retreats: A Spiritual Exploration

Unless you have a solid foundation in your own spirituality, dealing with the suffering of others is simply too hard. How do you establish personal boundaries and still act in a compassionate way toward your patients? How do you offer support to patients and families who are experiencing emotional and spiritual distress? 

At the GWISH Art of Presence Retreat, we will explore how your own spirituality and personal beliefs impact your vocation. Dedicate this time to your professional wellbeing through journaling, meditation, group discussion, time alone and with friends, and excursions to sacred sites in the surrounding area. 

Register for 2021 virtual Art of Presence Retreat


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

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

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

Anne VanderhookAnne Vandenhoeck, PhD, MDiv. Professor of Pastoral Care at Catholic University Leuven, Belgium, and Chair of the Academic Centre for Practical Theology

Mario CagnaMario Cagna, MDiv. Chaplain, Pastoral Care, Genoa, Italy
Edward O'DonnellEdward O'Donnell, M.A.
Spiritual Director and Educator

Contact Cherron Gardner-Thomas:


Retreat tuition for the 2019 Art of Presence Retreat is $1,095. A $250 deposit is required to hold your space. The retreat begins on Wednesday, August 14 at 6PM and closes on Tuesday, August 20 at noon. 

$1,095 Register



Vegetarian fare is available, and if you enjoy Italian cooking, we trust you will be happy with the food! Actual costs will be determined by the conversion rates a the time of the retreat. Lodging and food costs must be paid in euros in Assisi.

Double Room + Meals 
$600 (Total)
Single Room + Meals 
$500 (Total)