The past two weeks have been held together by very exciting weekends: household retreat and the Nursing Dedication Ceremony. Household retreat was in the same place it was held last semester: a cabin about twenty minutes away. The major difference between this retreat and the last one was the number of girls. Last year, we had about 15 girls on retreat. This year, we crammed 24 girls into that cabin, and it was a blast!
We had some really great talks on the retreat theme of seeking the face of Christ. One was about the Mass and the Eucharist, and another was about seeing Christ in everyone we encounter. There was a mud fight, a football game, and lots of food. I realize that sounds more like a boys’ retreat than a girls’, but we definitely had a great time and grew a lot. It was awesome to renew my focus on Christ and sisterhood in the middle of the semester when I’m starting to get worn down from school.Refreshed and rejuvenated, I came back for another week of school, and then… the Nursing Dedication!
The Nursing Dedication is a traditional ceremony, sometimes known as a capping ceremony, that acknowledges the nursing students. It is a candlelit procession in the chapel and addresses the junior nursing students for their hard work and sacrifice as well as the challenges they face ahead as nurses. Everyone’s families came in, we all wore little nursing dresses and caps, and all of us were very excited. There were a couple speeches, a reading from the Bible, a prayer, and a blessing. The reading was Matthew 25:31-46, “For I was sick, and you came to me.” Father Terrence Henry gave a great speech. He talked about when President Reagan was shot in the ‘80s. The secret service phoned the hospital, and the head nurse flew into a rush of motion and energy as she assembled doctors, nurses, and equipment because the President of the United States was being rushed to her hospital in five minutes. He related that to our vocation as nurses and that with every patient we attend to, we must see that patient as Jesus. We need to act with the same focus, love, and determination as that head nurse when she heard the President was coming. Jesus Christ is coming to OUR hospital, and whenever we help the least of our brothers, we help Him. It was such a great speech, and really put into perspective the power we have as nurses to be Christ’s hands and feet.