Tradition. Sophomore nursing students take part in ‘Blessing of the Hands’ ceremony

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Every year sophomore nursing students take part in a traditional ceremony called the Blessing of the Hands. This blessing ceremony is a beautiful experience and valuable to students as they embark on their first clinical rotations. As a daughter of an Ursuline alumna, my mother, a registered nurse has learned through this experience to value the importance of empathy, compassion, strength and responsibility and has been guided by God to use her hands to heal those that suffer. Ursuline College, the only school in the region that holds this ceremony, wants this unique tradition to “touch the heart through the hands”. Through this ceremony, students will learn the importance of compassion and care toward patients and reflect on their upcoming responsibilities.

Members of the College’s President’s Council and other nursing faculty attend the ceremony. Ursuline’s President, Sr. Diana Stano begins the Blessing Ceremony with inspirational songs, prayers, videos and guidance which ultimately capture the essence of caring. The Breen School of Nursing’s dean and associate dean provide reflections and the students are blessed with oil by the course coordinator while he/she states: “May this oil of gladness strengthen and bless you as you begin your ministry of nursing.”

An Ursuline alumna, Christina Furfai ’10 states: “This part really struck me when in my sophomore year at the beginning of clinicals, all the students had a Blessing of Hands ceremony in the chapel. This was a beautiful reminder that each of our hands would do great things for our patients and that the nursing is much more than a job….it’s a ministry. Only God can do work through us and he uses our hands to do great things!”

The Blessing of the Hands Ceremony will allow sophomore nursing students to be inspired to use God’s love through their hands and aid those in need.

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