The department of journalism and mass communications held a small gathering last week during National News Literacy Week to acknowledge its commitment to values of ethical writing and its role when it comes to upholding the values of Benedictine College. 

The small break room that greets students in the basement of Cray-Seaburg Hall was crowded last Tuesday afternoon as students, faculty, clergy and novices gathered to bless portraits of patron saints of communication and crucifixes for the department classrooms. 

Father Ryan Richardson blessed three portraits of St. Gabriel, St. Veronica and St. Frances de Sales. He also blessed five crucifixes to place on the wall in each classroom. 

“The importance of blessings in general is us asking for God’s help and protection on the work that we do,” Fr. Ryan said. “ Today was asking that God be present in us and through us as we carry on his work at Benedictine College.” 

Students and faculty also participated in the event by reading a bit about each saint and their contributions to communications. 

“I think it’s (religious freedom) one of the reasons students choose to come to Benedictine College, because they are looking for a college where they can grow in their faith but also have a passion to be professionals in the world,” Fr. Ryan said.  

Not only did the blessing serve as an opportunity for the department to display its commitment to Christian morals, it was also an opportunity for graduates, like Jason Nick, to know they were a part of something that will remain. 

“Knowing this is my last semester here and I haven’t really been a part of anything in this building besides the classes, it is pretty cool that before I left, I got to do something like this,” Nick said.