Cardinal Pell blesses Notre Dame’s future doctors


Notre Dame News Story
First year Medicine student, Jessica Quinn, has her hands blessed by Cardinal Pell.

His Eminence Cardinal George Pell has welcomed new students to the University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney School of Medicine at the annual Blessing of the Hands ceremony.

His Eminence celebrated the liturgy at Sacred Heart Church at Darlinghurst. In attendance were the new Medicine students, their families and friends, Notre Dame staff and governors and members of the medical profession.

Cardinal Pell blessed the hands of each student individually, praying that they would bring healing to all the people they served.

During his Homily, Cardinal Pell said students would soon carry out God’s work if they let themselves be guided by Him.

"A pen doesn’t know what it’s going to write, an artist’s brush doesn’t know what it’s going to paint," Cardinal Pell said.

"In the same way, God takes someone into his hands in order to begin his work, and that person doesn’t know what he or she will have to do. He or she is an instrument that moves in the hands of God, he shapes you and makes you more sacred through the task you must carry out."

Professor Christine Bennett, Dean of the Sydney School of Medicine, said the Blessing of the Hands was an important tradition.

"Our hands are indeed a very important part of who we are and how we express ourselves," Professor Bennett said.

"We gesture, we applaud, hold our babies, we touch our loved ones, we play beautiful music and we create great art. As doctors, your hands are an important healing tool for your profession. With them you will palpate, percuss and take a pulse; stitch, suture, prescribe. You will also use them to comfort, ease pain and connect with patients.

"This ceremony will add to your preparation, personally and spiritually, for your journey to becoming a doctor."

Nursing students celebrate their vocation

Notre Dame News Story
Nursing students Peter Lu and Shallan Strawbridge have their hands blessed by Fr Lam Vu and Fr John Neill.

The University of Notre Dame Australia Sydney Campus has also welcomed its new Nursing students with the annual Blessing of the Hands ceremony.

Notre Dame Chaplain, Fr Lam Vu, and Assistant Chaplain, Fr John Neill, blessed the hands of each student individually.

Fr Lam prayed that the future nurses would be filled with the Holy Spirit as they carried out their vocation with a love for God and for their fellow man.

The Nursing students took an oath that affirmed their commitment to undertake Jesus’ ministry by extending their hands to all who seek relief from suffering.

Dr Tracey Thornley, Dean of the Sydney School of Nursing, said the Blessing of the Hands is a celebration of the healing profession.

"Our hands are an integral part of the care of our patients," Dr Thornley said.

"It’s the hands that feel for the pulse or provide reassurance for the patient who is scared. It’s the hands we hold at the beginning and at the end of life – they are integral to our craft and tonight we celebrate our hands and our role as nurses."

Dr Thornley urged the Nursing students to look to look to famous nurses such as Florence Nightingale and Vivian Bullwinkle for an insight into what it means to practice one’s craft with integrity and dedication.

"Learn from our founders, stand up for what you believe, have courage and determination and celebrate the difference you make in another person’s life," Dr Thornley said.

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