Symbolic 'Blessing of the Hands' on International Nurses Day

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 14-5-2010

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



International Nurses Day, held on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, is a day that marks the incredible contribution nurses worldwide make to the health of the community.

The School of Nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus, celebrates this significant event by holding its annual ‘Blessing of the Hands’ ceremony - which recognises the dedication of nurses.

Associate Professor of Nursing, Dr Bill Goodin explains: “Nurses have the opportunity to bring comfort, kindness and spiritual support to their patients. As students of a Catholic university, our nurses embark on their clinical placements with blessing and prayers to prepare them for their professional duties.”

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

University Chaplain, Fr John Neill OP, conducted the blessing, blessing the hands of students, staff and visiting nurses as a symbol of healing.

In his address to students, Dr Goodin emphasised the importance of their role as future nurses.

“Next month you will join the workforce as student nurses - delivering quality health care to the community. Upon graduation we hope that you will become leaders in the nursing profession.

“With this ceremony and the blessing of your hands we are asking for God’s blessing on your work to guide you and care for you as you care for those dependent on you,” said Dr Goodin.

Nurses in the congregation also included representatives from Notre Dame’s clinical partners - St Vincent’s and Mater Health and South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service.

Media contact:

Moira Saunders
02 8204 4407, 0439 996 410