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Odessa church kicks off National Nurses Week by blessing local nurses’ hands

Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Odessa spent the afternoon honoring local nurses by blessing their hands.
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 8:58 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - One Odessa church took time to celebrate the beginning of national nurses week on Thursday.

The past year of the pandemic showed the world just how critical nurses are.

Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Odessa spent the afternoon honoring local nurses by blessing their hands.

Traditionally during National Nurses Week, Saint Barnabas Church members go into local hospitals to pray for and bless the nursing staff.

COVID-19 restrictions made visiting the hospital impossible, so the church invited nurses to a ceremony in its parking lot.

Registered nurse Dorothy Jackson says canceling the celebration was never an option because nurses needed appreciation more than ever this year.

“This year, it takes on a new meaning because the blessing is so greatly received. We don’t have time sometimes to receive it because we are so busy helping others. We also want to recognize the care that physicians and other healthcare workers have done,” said Jackson.

Father Ricardo Lopez began preaching at Saint Barnabas last year, so this is his first nurse blessing ceremony.

He says he felt honored to participate in giving back to nurses in the community.

“They are the unsung heroes, and that’s actually not a fair word to say because they’re far more than heroes. They’re people who dedicate their lives, their time, and even sacrifice so much to help so many,” said Father Lopez.

The ceremony meant something different to everyone who attended.

One woman says she’s reminded to be thankful for the nurses who cared for her late husband.

“When I think about it, I never think about myself being a recipient of any kind. But I think about all the people we had who helped me take care of my husband,” said retired caregiver Meredith Maharg.

After the ceremony, nurses were invited to enjoy free lunch courtesy of Saint Barnabas.

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