Retreat/Workday

On Saturday, Feb 4th, from 1:30-8:00 pm, interested students, housestaff, and faculty are invited to gather for a retreat to explore ways to keep our professional lives meaningful and open to moments of transcendence. We will do this in the rural setting of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, CT; a 350-acre farm cared for by 40 Benedictine nuns. Why a monastery? The Benedictine motto is "Ora et Labora": "Prayer and Work"; contemplatives strive to make their work more prayerful, more mindful, more meaningful. Perhaps we physicians can learn something here. Also, the founding Abbess of this monastery was a surgeon and, sensing the need of physicians to find and maintain meaning in their work, founded the Contemplative Medical Center at the abbey.

We will begin with "Labora", working outdoors with some of the nuns on the land for about 2 1/2 hours, connecting to the earth and applying intention and mindfulness to tasks we don't get much chance to do in our professional lives: perhaps cutting tress, clearing brush, haying. We then will witness some "Ora" by attending Vespers -- the evening prayer sung in Latin Gregorian chant. Dinner (provided for you) and discussion on an aspect of living out our profession will follow at the Contemplative Medical Center. We will conclude at 8pm.

Although held in a Catholic monastery, we welcome people of all religious -- or non-religious -- backgrounds to attend. The conversation will be ecumenical and open to all points of view; a broad range of views and traditions will enrich the experience!

If you have questions, please email Dr. Mary P. Guerrera at Guerrera@uchc.edu . To reserve a spot, please email Dr. Auguste Fortin at auguste.fortin@yale.edu and I will give you directions, arrange for car-pooling, provide suggestions for clothes to wear while working on the farm and RSVP for you. Attendance is limited to 18, so please commit early if you wish to attend.