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Celebrate Spirit!

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"Be the Joy!" at Celebrate Spirit! 2018

Thursday, Sept. 13

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Mass of the Holy Spirit, Student Fitness Center

Featured speaker – Patrick Kelly, S.J., '83

Patrick Kelly, S.J., Ph.D., is a native of the Detroit area and a proud alumnus of University of Detroit ’83. He played three sports in high school and football at Grand Valley State University, where he was a team captain and an all conference free-safety.

Fr. Kelly did his doctoral studies in theology, ethics and culture at Claremont Graduate University, where he worked closely with psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, the originator of the “flow theory.”  He is currently associate professor of theology and religious studies at Seattle University, where he teaches classes such as “Sport and Spirituality” and “Religion and Sport in a Global Context.”  

Patrick Kelly, S.J.Fr. Kelly is the author of the book Catholic Perspectives on Sports: From Medieval to Modern Times (Paulist Press, 2012) and the editor of Youth Sport and Spirituality: Catholic Perspectives (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015). He has worked closely with the Vatican offices that treat the topic of sport, including, recently, as an expert contributing to the revision of the first major Church document about sport, “Giving the Best of Yourself: The Christian perspective on sport and the human person.”  

Fr. Kelly’s Jesuit vocation was first sparked when he met the Jesuits at U of D as an undergraduate student; he was inspired by their teaching and their spirituality. He is currently trying to become a better swimmer and hopes to get back to playing basketball soon, after being sidelined for some time with a foot injury.  

See below for more information about our featured speaker and the subject of "sports and spirituality." This year's Celebrate Spirit! event is co-hosted by Detroit Mercy Athletics. We hope to see you all there!

Note: Open Choir Rehearsal – Contact University Ministry for more information at

1–3 p.m. – Picnic/Student Organization Fair, Fisher Fountain

Following Celebrate Spirit! is the annual Student Organization Fair, where students can learn and join the many extracurricular and co-curricular clubs offered at Detroit Mercy. The Celebrate Spirit! Student Organization Fair lunch is sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automotive.

2:30 p.m. – Classes resume

Note: McNichols class schedule changes on Sept. 13. Please see below for updated schedule. The Loft & Titan Dining Room will be closed from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


    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:


    Revised Class Schedules for Celebrate Spirit!

    Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018

    In order for everyone to participate in the activities planned for Celebrate Spirit! the class schedule on Thursday, September 13, 2018 will be adjusted to create a free period from 11:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  We look forward to your participation at the event.

    Faculty that normally teach their classes on Thursday morning and early afternoon need to adjust their plan of instruction and inform their students of the changed schedule for this ONE day only.  Most class periods in the morning will change from 75-minute to 50-minute periods or as noted below for those classes that are not normally 75 minutes.  ALL classroom assignments REMAIN THE SAME as the normal class time.

    Morning Classes that normally meet:
    7:55-11:15 will meet 7:55-11:15
    8:00-11:50 will meet 8:00-11:20
    8:00-12:30 will meet 8:00-11:20
    8:30-9:45 will meet 8:30-9:20
    9:00-9:50 will meet 8:30-9:20
    9:00-10:30 will meet 8:30-10:30
    9:00-10:50 will meet 9:00-10:50
    9:00-11:30 will meet 9:00-11:20
    9:00-11:50 will meet 9:00-11:20
    9:00-12:40 will meet 9:00-11:20
    9:00-2:55 will meet 9:00-11:20
    9:55-11:10 will meet 9:30-10:20
    10:00-10:50 will meet 9:30-10:20
    10:00-11:15 will meet 9:30-10:20
    10:00-11:45 will meet 10:00-11:20
    10:00-12:30 will meet 9:30-11:20
    10:00-12:45 will meet 10:00-11:20
    11:00-12:45 will meet 10:30-11:20
    11:20-12:35 will meet 10:30-11:20

    Afternoon Classes that normally meet:
    1:00-3:00 will meet 2:30-3:00
    2:00-2:50 will meet 2:30-2:50
    2:00-3:15 will meet 2:30-3:15
    2:00-3:30 will meet 2:30-3:30
    2:00-3:50 will meet 2:30-3:50
    2:00-3:55 will meet 2:30-3:55
    2:00-4:30 will meet 2:30-4:30
    2:00-4:45 will meet 2:30-4:45
    2:00-4:50 will meet 2:30-4:50
    2:00-4:55 will meet 2:30-4:55
    2:00-5:00 will meet 2:30-5:00
    2:00-5:50 will meet 2:30-5:50
    2:00-5:55 will meet 2:30-5:55
    2:00-6:00 will meet 2:30-6:00


    Special Presentation with Fr. Kelly, Sept. 11

    All Detroit Mercy students, student-athletes, faculty and staff can join Fr. Kelly for a special discussion, "The Joy of Sport: Learning and Teaching," on Tuesday Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. This event is in conjunction with Celebrate Spirit!, Sept. 13, highlighting Fr. Kelly's background in sports and spirituality.

Recent interview with Patrick Kelly, S.J.

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