Nursing School holds annual 'Blessing of the Hands' ceremony

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 19-5-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



The School of Nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney held its annual ‘Blessing of the Hands’ Ceremony at the new Darlinghurst site this week.

The yearly ritual is as a way of celebrating being a nurse within the patronage of a Catholic University and is a timely way of preparing students to go out into their clinical placements in June.

All of Notre Dame’s nursing students were involved in the ceremony, held during daily mass at Sacred Heart Church, Darlinghurst.

Fr Lien Duong from Sacred Heart and Executive Dean of Nursing and Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Margot Kearns, conducted the blessing, which involved the hands of students and staff being anointed with oil as a symbol of healing.

Professor Kearns said the blessing prepares students spiritually for the experiences they will have as students and as future nurses.

“In June the students go out to clinical settings to commence their practicum for the year. Nurses dedicate their work to bringing comfort, kindness and spiritual support to patients and the community. To celebrate this, the University holds the ‘Blessing of the Hands.’

“This ceremony ‘commissions’ the student nurses so they embark on their clinical careers with the blessings of Our Lord,” said Professor Kearns.

Nurses in the congregation included representatives from Notre Dame's Clinical Partners, St Vincents and Mater Health Sydney, South West Area Health Service, the Nursing Advisory Board, Nurses and Midwives Board of NSW, and the Sisters of Charity. All took the opportunity to have their hands blessed and reflect on the importance of nursing.

Media contact:

Moira Saunders 02 8204 4407