Students no longer have to rely on praying to St. Jude—patron saint of desperate situations—when final exams roll around. Now they simply have their brains blessed by one of the Jesuits on campus. Near the end of each semester, students are invited to Bellarmine Chapel for a brief, nondenominational service in which they receive individual brain blessings. They also receive a stress ball in the shape of a brain.
The first blessed event was held during the 2001 spring semester. It was the brainchild of Brockman Hall director Angie Kneflin, who planned on it being a one-time event. Student demand, though, caused her to bring it back. Now, with the help of campus ministry, she plans to continue it each semester and make it a tradition.
“It lets the students get a start on finals with a positive attitude,” she says. “I want students to come and see faculty there and think, ‘Yes, these are the people giving me finals, but they’re here to support me as well.’ ”