University of Holy Cross

Commissioning Ceremony

Blessing of the hands 2014

Fr. John Lyon, OP,  and Sr. Michael Mary Gutowski, RSM, DNS, bless the hands of nursing studentAmber Arceneauxin UHC's "blessing of the hands" ceremony for sophomore nursing students on Feb. 17.  

In a symbolic and moving "blessing of the hands" ceremony on Feb. 17, the University of Holy Cross (UHC) commissioned 63 sophomore nursing students to embark on their clinical education. 

The blessing of the hands is an annual ceremony at UHC which commemorates student progress as they begin their work with patients.  It also recognizes the spiritual dimension of nursing practice, a foundation of UHC's nursing program.  Campus minister Fr. John Lydon, OP, anointed the hands of each student with oil, used as a base for medicine in ancient times, and requests the divine blessing that each student's hands be used as instruments of healing.

"As nursing students enter their sophomore year and begin their actual clinical education, we at UHC recognize this important milestone with this special blessing," explains Patricia Prechter, RN, MSN, EdD, Provost and Chair of the Department of Nursing and Allied Health.  "Understanding that nursing has a spiritual dimension is the basis for all we do academically at UHC."

More than 900 nursing graduates of UHC practice in the metro New Orleans area.  UHC offers a bachelor's degree in nursing.  The nursing program distinguishes itself with high rates of passing the national licensure examination.  

About the University of Holy Cross

A fully accredited Catholic liberal arts university on the West Bank of New Orleans, UHC offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.  Students enjoy a personalized academic experience on an active campus where they are encouraged to explore values and pursue service opportunities.  Some of our most distinctive programs are in Nursing, Biology, Counseling, Education and Theology. The Marianites of Holy Cross, whose distinguished history of educational service to New Orleans dates to 1848, founded the university in 1916. 



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A Ministry of the Marianites of Holy Cross: Educating Hearts and Minds

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