Notre Dame’s Blessing of Hands

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 18-5-2005

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle

Publication Place



The University of Notre Dame Australia celebrated its annual Blessing of Hands Ceremony last week coinciding with International Nurses Day and Florence Nightingales 184 th Birthday.

The Blessing of Hands has traditionally been celebrated by nursing students but this year was extended to the whole College of Health; including students from the Schools of Counselling, Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy and Health & Physical Education.

Australian of the Year Dr Fiona Wood was the guest speaker at the ceremony who spoke of her journey and experience in the profession of medicine.

“Some of the most inspirational people I meet are the patients I treat. They tolerate such suffering and pain and then move on and lead extraordinary lives. You can’t imagine the pleasure and satisfaction you feel in knowing that your patient is going home,” said Dr Woods.

Over 350 people attended the ceremony in which students hands were anointed with oil.

Father Greg Watson who led the liturgy said, “The health community is capable of doing extraordinary things and society highly values the work that they do. We anoint our College of Health students with oil as it symbolises healing, wellness and strength. Kings, priests and prophets were anointed with oil as it also symbolises that those who are anointed are set aside as agents of God.”

For media related information contact: The Media Office, University of Notre Dame, Direct line: 08 9433 0698, Mobile: 0408 959 138, Email: media@nd.edu.au