News Release

UDM Celebrate Spirit! on Sept. 12

Each year, University of Detroit Mercy faculty, staff and students gather in Calihan Hall for the annual "Celebrate Spirit!" event. This longstanding tradition is a symbol of the beginning of the new academic year for students, faculty and staff and will include a worship service for all faiths, picnic lunch, student organization fair and grand opening of the UDM Student Fitness Center.

The Mass of the Holy Spirit service will take place on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. at Calihan Hall, led by Rev. Gilbert Sunghera, S.J., assistant professor of Architecture.  Following the program, the University community will gather for a student organization fair to acquaint students on different ways to get involved from 1:00-12:30 p.m.. The fair will include games, activities and a University picnic around the Fisher Fountain.

"Celebrate Spirit!" gathers the entire University community together to rededicate everyone to UDM's mission, to renew friendships, and to welcome new friends. The yearly event is part of a religious tradition that dates back to the great European universities in the Middle Ages who celebrated the new school year. 

As part of the prayer service, guest speaker Howard Gray, S.J. from Georgetown University will share his thoughts about the theme, “Serve Community, Respect Diversity, Enhance Knowledge.”

Gray is assistant to the president for special projects at the University. Prior to assuming this role in 2007, Fr. Gray served in many leadership role in the Society of Jesus including: rector and dean of Weston School of Theology, provincial superior of the Detroit Province, founder and director of the center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College, and rector and assistant for Mission and Identity at John Carroll University in Cleveland Ohio.

Howard Gray, S.J.He has written extensively in areas of Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit mission and ministry. He has given a number of workshops on Ignatian topics in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and Australia.

In addition to speaking at Celebrate Spirit!, Fr. Gray will give a lecture on September 11 at 7 p.m. in UDM’s Fountain Lounge on the McNichols Campus.

This event’s activities are open to the entire University of Detroit Mercy community and have been sponsored by University Ministry and the University Libraries and Instructional Design Studio. All are encouraged to attend and receive inspiration as we recommit ourselves to living the UDM Mission in the city of Detroit. For more information, visit the Celebrate Spirit! website at

Release date: September 09, 2013

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