Dr. Brian Volck, MD


Friday, Mar. 24, 6 pm – Saturday, Mar. 25, 8 pm



Dealing with pain and suffering can be among the most difficult challenges that anyone faces. Grappling with suffering is especially pronounced for Christians, who believe in a good and all-powerful God and yet are faced with a world filled with brokenness and suffering. These issues are felt acutely by Christian healthcare providers, who regularly face the realities of physical brokenness and emotional suffering, and seek to be means of healing amid such brokenness.


At our spring healthcare retreat for grad/professional students in the health sciences, we will consider how to approach suffering as Christian healthcare providers. We’ll give special attention to how the Christian gospel speaks a message of hope in the midst of suffering, and how this perspective reframes our healthcare practice.


Our facilitator for the retreat will be Dr. Brian Volck, MD, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Volck is also the author of two books on healthcare vocation—Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine, coauthored with Joel Schuman, and Attending Others: A Doctor’s Education in Bodies and Words as well as the poetry collection Flesh Becomes Word (Dos Madres, 2013). During his medical career, he has provided pediatric care at an Indian Health Service hospital on the Navajo Reservation, at an inner-city community health center in Kentucky, at a storefront pediatric office, and at a university-affiliated combined internal medicine-pediatrics teaching practice.


Our retreat will take place March 24-25 at a retreat center in Montgomery, MN. Registration costs $25, and includes four meals and lodging, as well as all retreat materials and readings. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available.


What to expect on the retreat:

  • Exploration, through teaching and small-group discussions, of Christian perspectives on suffering and how a Christian theology of suffering can inform healthcare practice
  • Conversation and fellowship with other students and practitioners from a variety of different healthcare fields and different Christian traditions
  • Prayer and worship together


To register for this retreat, please fill out this Google form. We welcome students from outside of the U of M and Mayo Clinic to register, but because space is limited, students from the U of M and Mayo who register before March 3 will have priority. If you have questions, or you’re healthcare professional in the Twin Cities’ area interested in volunteering with these retreats, please email Andrew Hansen, program director at Anselm House.


This retreat is a collaborative effort of Anselm House and the University of Minnesota chapters of the Catholic Medical Association, the Christian Medical and Dental Association, and the Coptic Medical Association of North America.