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Caldwell, N.J., February 24, 2017 – The Nursing Department held its annual Blessing of the Hands ceremony for juniors.

Director of Campus Ministry Colleen O’Brien opened the ceremony pointing to the importance of the blessing for the students who will use their hands to heal the sick and suffering and bring forth the mission of Caldwell University and the Sisters of St. Dominic.

Director of Nursing Dr. Theodora Sirota reflected on various scriptures references to healing.  “The prophet Ezekiel speaking in the name of the Lord says: ‘I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak’ and that is what we nurses do.  Jeremiah speaking in the name of the Lord says ‘Behold, I will bring to them health and healing, and I will heal them’ and that is what we nurses do,” said Sirota.

Dr. Barbara Chesler, vice president for academic affairs said it was a time to celebrate “our call and gifts and to remember how much we need one another.”  The blessing, she explained, “symbolizes our belief in the sacredness of our everyday lives and work.”

President Nancy Blattner reflected on the scripture verse from Isaiah 49 which references how the Lord holds us in the palm of his hand.  She reminded the students that God holds them in the palm of his hand and in turn, they have the important work of holding others in the palm of their hands as nurses.

The nursing students said they felt appreciated and proud to have the support from the university. Junior Daniel Aponte said the ceremony empowered him to move on in his clinic experience. Junior Andrea Felano said she is more motivated and understands the power of using her hands in nursing.  Yasmine Khalaifeh, a sophomore who was watching the ceremony, said it is important to remember that spirituality comes with being a nurse. “There is more to nursing than performing physical tasks.”

Faculty and administration did the readings and administered the blessing.

It was a special day for junior Catherine Mulick since she is going to be a 3rd generation nurse in her family, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who attended the ceremony to celebrate with her.