Eighty-eight Nursing Students Blessed before First Clinical

February 12, 2021

By Lorraine Parr

On Fri., Feb. 5, 88 nursing students in the class of 2023 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.

“To me, the blessing of the hands reconnects us with our faith as we enter into clinicals,” said nursing major Shannon Parr ’23.  She added, “It is a celebration for how much we are about to achieve in the community.”

Fr. Mathias Durette, O.S.B., presided over the blessing, presenting to each student the medal of St. Raphael, patron saint of nurses. For the first time the students proudly wore their navy blue scrubs, ready to begin their rotations. Nursing Professor Carrie MacLeod, Ph.D., officially welcomed the students; Student Nurses Association president Bailey Conte ’21 then provided words of encouragement. One-by-one the sophomore nursing students were called to the altar to get their hands blessed by Nursing Professors Melinda Ferguson, Anne Knight, Carrie MacLeod and Deborah McCarter. Due to COVID, student nurses were socially distanced and guests were unable to attend but watched the live stream.

“Your task as nurses will be to serve as angels here on earth, as agents of healing and consolation,” said Fr. Mathias. “Yours is a noble profession. It is putting the gospel into action.”

 “My favorite part was stepping up to my professor and her saying the prayer for me. It made me feel like God will always be by my side throughout my career,” said Tessa Whiteside ’23.

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:

Joanna Archambault

Grade Baukus

Merrick Bilodeau

Samantha Biron

Dyanna Bonavita

Gina Buccieri

Emily Butler

Jon Cattabriga

Emma Chestnut

Quinn Colligan

Maeve Collins

Caroline Condon

Jacqueline Conroy

Meghan Cotraro

Abigail Couture

Rachel Davidson

Camille Desjardins

Kayla Dolley

Katherine Ellis

Kendall Ellmer

Ariana Fay

Grace Foley

Anna Fuller

Meredith Gebski

Kendall Gravell

Jessica Guadagnoli

Kristen Gyorda

Mary Halle

Julie Hamilton

Grace Hart


Emma Howlett

Caroline Huntress

Cordelia Inman

Emma Izydorczak

Deanna Kashulines

Jaime Kask

Meaghan Kelleher

Catherine Landry

Paige Lapriore

Adrienne Lesieur

Grade Liedman

Chloe London-Ayr

Carolyn Lynch

Nicole Marella

Meghan McGillicuddy

Methan Moore

Lauren Moran

Mairead Morgan

Emily Morin

Julie Murphy

Erika Nedinsky

Emma Neumann

Megan Nguyen

Delaney O'Brien

Quinn O'Rourke

Katherine Paquin

Shannon Parr

Julia Phillips

Jillian Oirier

Grade Potvin


Anna Powell

Lauren Puglielli

Liam Reeve

Alexia Reis

Theresa Riley

Abigail Rogers

Shaylyn Ross

Madison Rossi

Veronica Salvaggio

Julia Sarra

Rebecca Scott

Anna Sheehan

Jack Shibles

Emma Skurka

Theadora Stark

Marcel Stypulkowski

Samantha Sullivan

Corrine Sweeney

Cameron Tait

Sarah Taylor

Emily Vigorito

Julia Walsh

Kylie Warren

Katherine Welch

Grace White

Tessa Whiteside

Isabella Wronkowski

Mitchell Young

Related Links