Practice and Presence: Keeping body and soul together

David DeMarco, M.D., S.J, had a life changing experience early in his medical career. “I heard something in my head. It was as though it was coming from outside of me, asking, ‘Who are you that you would do this?’ It wasn’t a malignant question. It had a kind of gentleness, but it was one of those questions that slices right through you, a defining moment, a question I was convinced had come from the divine, breaking through my shell and pointing out something about who I really am and what I really want.”

Now he has to pause sometimes and ask, “Which part of my identity am I playing out at the present moment?” He is a physician priest — and a priest physician.   His work includes saying Mass on the weekends, helping with spiritual direction, practicing medicine, and teaching medical students.  According to DeMarco, Ignatian spirituality makes it easy to combine practicing medicine, living the religious life in community, and serving as a priest — at least in theory. In practice it’s a lot more difficult.

Dr. DeMarco will be one of the featured guests at the upcoming Practice & Presence gathering. Read more of his story here.


Register For Practice & Presence

Duke Divinity School,  May 19-21, 2017

Over the course of three days, we explore and re-imagine the connections of vocation and faith, and tune our hearts and minds to find God present in all aspects of our work. We will engage in contemplative reading of scripture, spiritual practices of reflection, and learn from Ignatian practices of discernment and decision-making as they apply to our callings. Please consider joining us for this opportunity to grow in friendship and fellowship with one another in the context of shared meals, conversation, prayer and worship.