Eighty-eight Nursing Students Blessed before First Clinical
Katelyn Arnold ’23
February 14, 2023
On Fri., Feb. 3, 88 nursing students in the class of 2025 gathered in the Abbey Church for a special blessing of the hands ceremony in preparation for their first clinical experiences. The ceremony is a beloved tradition for the college's future nurses, connecting the Benedictine values at the center of their college experience to their future work. For the first time in two years, community members were able to attend in person.
Fr. Mathias Durette, O.S.B., presided over the blessing, presenting to each student the medal of St. Raphael, patron saint of nurses. The students proudly wore their navy-blue scrubs for the first time, ready to begin their rotations. Student Nurses Association president Cordelia Inman ’23 then provided words of encouragement; “I get to do this work as opposed to I have to do this work.”
“The blessing of the hands reinforced this idea because it was such a beautiful demonstration of the power of the work that we, as future nurses, will be doing, and getting to do this work is a blessing in and of itself,” said nursing major Anna Gaby ’25.
One by one the sophomore nursing students were called to the altar to get their hands blessed by Nursing Professors Anne Knight, Joann Condon ’00, Michele Moreau, and Melinda Ferguson. Lastly, community members who are healthcare professionals also had the opportunity to get their hands blessed.
“It was an honor to have our hands blessed by those who brought us this far as we begin our clinicals,” said Sela Rathe ’25.
“Blessing of the Hands was a beautiful way to commemorate the start of our nursing student journeys. It’s part of what sets Saint A’s nurses apart, and it helped us to truly understand how blessed we are to be able to care for others,” said Riley Shea ’25.
The students will now enter a new chapter in their nursing education taking their classroom, lab, and simulation learning to the clinical environment.
This year’s students who received the blessing were: