Front-line workers receive ‘spiritual’ boost with blessing of the hands – Long Island Catholic

Nurses at St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson, received a spiritual boost Monday, May 11, as they continue their heroic work on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. In observance of National Nurses Week, Ursuline Sister Edith Menegus, pastoral care director, and hospital chaplain Mary Larson, of the United Church of Christ, visited the various departments and units to bless the hands of nurses and other medical professionals. While holy water could not be used during the ritual this year because of the current health crisis, the employees were no less appreciative of the spiritual care they received. By the end of the day, the chaplains blessed more than 200 pairs of hands. National Nurses Week, May 6-12, celebrates the nursing profession and affirms the vital role nurses play in health care.

The prayer used in the blessing of hands was Gracious God, bless these hands which offer care and comfort to the sick and the scared. Thank you for your service and compassion during this crisis and always. Amen.

Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz

A statue of St. Charles Borromeo is seen outside the 243-bed hospital.

Sister Edith Menegus prays for nursing assistant Sanja Cook.

Nursing assistant Sanja Cook extends her hands for the blessing.

Nurse Lauren Quenzer has her hands blessed by Sister Edith.

Nurse Fatima Mouslem receives a blessing from Sister Edith.

Nurse Ashleigh Liere puts protective gloves on her hands before entering a patient's room in the COVID-19 unit.

Chaplain Mary Larson prays for pediatric unit secretary Maria Chazulle-Itsines.

Nurse Susan Dargis has her hands blessed by Chaplain Larson.

Nurse Jacqueline Muniz extends her hands for a blessing from Chaplain Larson.

Dr. James Cavanaugh, pediatric hospitalist, has his hands blessed by Sister Edith.

Sister Edith poses near a nurses' station in the COVID-19 unit.

Signs of gratitude posted near a hospital entrance.

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Front-line workers receive 'spiritual' boost with blessing of the hands - Long Island Catholic

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