“May this oil of gladness strengthen and bless you as you begin your ministry of nursing.”
These positive words were said to us, the sophomore nursing class, right before our hands were blessed. I felt that the blessing ceremony was powerful because it confirmed the calling God placed upon my life. It made me feel special because I was chosen to care for those in need. In addition, the service was moving because our hands were blessed with God’s loving gifts. It joined us all together and was nice to see the faculty members come and support us on our big day. Each clinical instructor blessed us with words of strength and encouragement, inspirational videos were shown, and touching songs were played. It was truly an honor to be part of Ursuline’s blessing ceremony.
Stephanie Rini ’17
The Breen School of Nursing’s Blessing Ceremony is a special tradition held every semester at Ursuline College and one that is very meaningful for both the college community and for the nursing students as they begin their first clinical rotations. This ceremony serves as the college’s prayerful support of students as they begin caring for their first patients. It is also a time of personal reflection on the responsibilities that await them. Students are dressed in full clinical attire for the first time and this ceremony precedes their first clinical experience.
The Blessing Ceremony takes place in St. Angela’s Chapel in the Mullen building where Dean Sharpnack, Associate Dean Goliat, Coordinators Ms. Kathleen Rogers and Ms. Bonnie Fellows and the clinical instructors preside over a program that includes scripture readings, prayers, words of reflection, patient testimonials and songs. The president of the college, Sr. Diana Stano, OSU, opens the ceremony with a general blessing and members of the President’s Council are also present in support of the students. During the ceremony, the hands of every student are blessed with oil while the statement “May this oil of gladness strengthen and bless you as you begin your ministry of nursing” is read. Faculty and clinical instructors then provide words of support, guidance, and encouragement followed by the students taking a few moments to reflect upon their calling.
After the ceremony concludes, refreshments are served. Students then meet with their clinical instructors and visit their clinical sites for the first time. It is a very special day held dear by students and faculty alike and one that truly acknowledges and supports their mission of healing.