Back to Top
Top Nav Content Site Footer
University Home

Celebrate Spirit!

Celebrate Spirit! Logo

Thank you again to everyone who helped make the 2017 Celebrate Spirit! event a success!

A special thank you goes out to this year's sponsors, University Ministry, School of Dentistry and Fiat Chrysler Automotive, and to all the student organizations that came out to represent. This year's keynote video, "Driven to Serve," is now available online as well as our photo gallery!

2017 Video Presentation, Produced by the School of Dentistry

Detroit is a city with a deeply rooted, unwavering spirit. Withstanding trials, tragedies and hardship, the city rises from the ashes of the past and bursts forth with a burning passion. You hear it in the music, you see it in the art, and you feel it in the community.

As part of the University mission, Detroit Mercy seeks to integrate the intellectual, spiritual, ethical and social development of its students. Through education and volunteer work, students on campus understand the importance of service and the direct impact they can have on this community. The hard work and dedication they show in the classroom–this spirit–is just as strong outside of the classroom. As they enter the professional world, students are sensitive to community needs, and are committed to the improvement and wellness of the society that surrounds them. Their influence is vast, and their reach, boundless.

In the spirit of giving of ourselves to those in need, we gather together as one community this year at Celebrate Spirit! It is this same spirit that animates all faiths.

St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, would send forth Jesuits telling them to “go and set the world on fire.” Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, would say, "Our charity must be in our hearts and from our hearts." This spirit animates life in all its abundance. We see it bursting forth in the flowers and trees; in the design of beautiful buildings; in passionate teachers and motivated students; in talented athletes; in caring health professionals; and in alumni who lead, serve and make a difference in their community. Let us share with one another this drive and passion to serve as we reach out to animate the city of Detroit and the world.

See you all on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 for Celebrate Spirit! 2018

Celebrate Spirit! 2018 will be sponsored by Detroit Mercy Titan Athletics, University Ministry and Fiat Chrysler Automotive. The celebrant of the Celebrate Spirit! Mass will be Pat Kelly, S.J. '83. A native Detroiter and expert on sports and spirituality, Kelly was on the pontifical council for Religion and Sports.


    Mass of the Holy Spirit

    Celebrate Spirit!, the official welcome to the new school year for Detroit Mercy faculty, staff and students, is part of a long tradition dating from the founding of the great European universities in the Middle Ages. These institutions would celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the start of a new school year. Following this tradition we call on God's Spirit for inspiration as we begin a new academic year. This festive event gathers the entire University community together to rededicate ourselves to the U's mission, to renew friendships, and to welcome new members.

    Eucharistic Liturgy (the Mass)

    Every Mass follows the same general form, and the Mass of the Holy Spirit is no exception. We gather to listen to some portion of the sacred story handed on in the gospels and other sacred writings. Then we bring forward bread and wine, symbols of our gifts received and shared with all in need. The priest, an ordained representative of the entire church community, prays over and shares those gifts in a holy communion with God and with one another. In the "missa," or "sending," at the end of the mass, the people disperse to their ordinary lives strengthened for the task of carrying what they have heard and shared to the rest of the world.


    A procession is symbolic movement through time and space. Our processional banners carry medallions of major world religions:


    • the Star of David (Judaism),
    • the cross (Christianity),
    • and the Star and Crescent (Islam) represent the three sister-communities who trace the origins of their faith to Abraham.
    • The Yin-yang symbol (Confucianism),
    • the Dharma Wheel (Buddhism),
    • and the Om (Hinduism) represent the great religions of the East.

    All faiths recognize the reality of the transcendent and attempt to engage believers with Ultimate Reality. The medallions are a sign of welcome to every expression of Spirit in this celebration as we move together through this coming academic year.

    Liturgy of the Word

    The Liturgy of the Word is a time of listening to some portion of the Bible, reflecting on it through prayer, song, and preaching, and then offering prayer for the needs of the church, the world and the local community.

    Liturgy of the Eucharist

    The word "eucharist" comes from the Greek word for "thanksgiving." The gathered community first brings forward bread, the staff of life, and wine, a festive drink. We place these symbols of our life and joy into the hands of the priest, a chosen representative of this community and of the larger Church. He calls down the power of the Holy Spirit over the gifts, recalling the story of Jesus' own gift to us and asking that God transform them. Then with Jesus and the community he gives thanks to God. Our great "Amen" at the end is the sign of our acceptance of all that we have said and done together.

    Communion Rite

    In the communion rite believers share the consecrated bread and wine which makes Christ present within each of us and all of us together. Through this communion we become Christ's living Body present in time and space. Before we approach the holy table, we pray together as brothers and sisters and offer one another a sign of the peace we hope to realize in this communion.

    Interested in more information on the Mass?

    If you would like to learn more about the liturgy and its historical origins, or about the meaning of the Eucharist (communion), check out these web sites:

Back to Top