New Nursing Club Focuses on Faith

By Olivia Traxler ’24

A new, faith-based club at Saint Mary’s offers nursing students the opportunity to grow within the Catholic tradition while preparing for a career in healthcare. Launched this spring semester, the Catholic Nurses’ Association grew out of interest expressed by students last year.
Molly Martis '24, Catholic Nurses’ Association president, says the club’s founding membership was inspired by the idea of nursing as a vocation through which students can live out their Catholic faith, promoting positive outcomes for all patients they encounter. “The goal is to facilitate fellowship among Catholic nurses and to empower students to proudly live and practice nursing as Catholic disciples,” Martis said.
The Catholic Nurses’ Association plans to organize various activities such as special Masses, community service opportunities, and discussions on navigating the healthcare system through the lens of a Catholic faith. They will also provide faith formation opportunities and special guest speakers. Currently, the club has an expressed interest of around 75 students from last August’s activities fair. Meetings will be held quarterly.
While the focus of the group is the spiritual support of future nurses deepening their faith within the Catholic tradition; the club is also open to non-nursing students, who are pursuing greater understanding of and connection to Catholicism no matter what their religious background may be.
In honor of the new club, a special Mass was celebrated on February 16 by the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, the Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades.
Prof. Rick Becker, the club's faculty advisor and an assistant professor of nursing science, expressed gratitude for the bishop’s appearance on campus: “[The] Vatican Council II taught that, ‘Taking part in the Eucharistic the source and summit of the whole Christian life.’ The Mass is at the very core of Catholic belief, identity, and practice, and so there's no better way to mark the founding of this club than coming together to celebrate the liturgy and receive the Eucharist.”
Becker added that “to have Bishop Rhoades celebrate the Mass with us is especially appropriate and a true gift. He embodies and exercises on a local level the Church's pastoral care and teaching authority, both of which are essential for Catholic healthcare workers seeking to align their clinical practice with Christian charity and values.” Becker hopes the new College Nurses’ Association will “become a source of true encouragement, community, and spiritual enrichment for the many future nurses among our students.” 
February 20, 2024
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