Baccalaureate Mass

Commencement: Saturday, May 14, 2016

Baccalaureate ServiceThe Baccalaureate Mass is celebrated in conjunction with UDM graduation and is considered an integral part of the Commencement activities. Candidates and guests of all faiths are invited to attend this Mass. It is a time to thank God for blessings received, and to pray for our future. Immediate family are invited and encouraged to attend. No tickets or reservations are required.

Location & Parking

The Mass takes place in Gesu Church (17180 Oak Drive, Detroit), located one block north of McNichols Campus on Santa Maria between Quincy and Oak Drive. Limited parking is available near the church, but all are encouraged instead to park in the university lots and walk the short distance to the church. (Then you will not need to move your car between the baccalaureate mass and the commencement itself.)

*There will be a complimentary continental breakfast immediately following the Mass in the Student Fitness Center, available until 11:45a.m.  


The graduates are asked to assemble outside Gesu Church promptly at 9:30 a.m., in cap and gown. If you are interested in volunteering to take an active role in the ceremony – such as reading, being a eucharistic minister, or singing in the choir – please download an application form and return it to the University Ministry office.

Family & Guests

Go directly into the church, where you will be seated by the ushers. The procession begins at 10 a.m., so be sure to arrive sometime before that. No photography is permitted during the mass.


You are encouraged to participate. Academic regalia is worn for this occasion. Faculty assemble outside the church no later than 9:30 a.m.


Employees are needed to serve as ushers, eucharistic ministers, and singers. Please volunteer by contacting University Ministry. Any concerns or questions? Please call 313-993-1560, or stop by the Ministry office, located in the Student Center across from the Bookstore.


The Baccalaureate Mass is a tradition that dates back to 1432. The word Baccalaureate is from the Latin bacca, berries, and lauri, laurel. The word Baccalaureatus was then used to describe the laurel wreath given at commencements. According to tradition, students graduating from Oxford University were required, as their final test, to give a sermon in Latin to graduate. This practice was adopted into Catholic tradition and now the Baccalaureate Mass is a large component of most Catholic graduation ceremonies. Source: