Text and photos by Gregory A. Shemitz

Nurses across Long Island were honored, affirmed and prayed for during a morning Mass marking National Nurses Week on Monday, May 7, at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre.

More than 50 nurses gathered with other health care workers and administrators at the liturgy, which was celebrated by Bishop John Barres.

The bishop acknowledged and expressed his gratitude to nurses who are serving in a variety of specialties in Catholic and secular venues, including hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, schools and residences.

“We celebrate the vocation of the Catholic nurse today, a commitment to holistic health, the spiritual health, the physical health, the missionary health of our patients,” Bishop Barres said in his opening remarks. “We celebrate that today at this Mass as we pray for all nurses on Long Island.”

The liturgy, which coincided with the cathedral’s regularly scheduled 7:45 a.m. service, was an initiative of the diocese’s Office of Faith Formation, in cooperation with Catholic Health Services of Long Island.

The National Nurses Week observance, which celebrates the nursing profession and affirms the vital role nurses play in health care, began with National Nurses Day on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing.