A healing message at this year’s Blessing of the Hands Ceremony

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 9-4-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



This year’s guest speaker Adjunct Associate Professor Chris Hanna, Director of Nursing & Midwifery, St John of God Hospital, Subiaco, sent a healing message to the staff and students at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus annual Blessing of the Hands Ceremony.

In the past the hands of kings, priests and prophets were anointed with oils as a symbol of those who were set aside as agents of God. Today, led in liturgy by the Chaplain Fr Gerry Conlan, students from the Schools of Nursing, Health Sciences, Medicine as well as Counselling and Behavioural Science students had their hands anointed with oil as a symbol of healing and strength.

The Blessing of the Hands is held every year before students embark on their first practicum placement.

Adjunct Associate Professor Hanna spoke about how she uses her hands in her profession and how we use our hands for healing. She also spoke about the diversity and complexity of health care environments and reflected on the important use of her hands within the roles at her workplace.

“This ceremony is a time to affirm the value of health and the value of students and staff who are involved in the healing professions within Notre Dame."

She encouraged the students not to take for granted being part of a University community that made a sacred time and place available for such an experience.

“May your hands be instruments that demonstrate an attitude that treasures the unique dignity of every person as you use your hands to provide healing.”

Media contact:

Rebecca Cassidy 08 9433 0611, 0408 959 138