Founders Week

Sept. 20-27

Founders Week. Sponsored by University Ministry, Office of Mission Integration, Catholic Studies, and CLASA. We are Mercy. We are Jesuit. Sisters of Mercy. Society of Jesus.

Founders week celebrates the opening of the first House of Mercy on Baggot St in Dublin, Ireland by Catherine McAuley and her companions who formed the order of the Sisters of Mercy.   Founders week also celebrates the approval from Rome of the organization of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) founded by Ignatius of Loyola on Sept. 27, 1540. 


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    Monday, Sept. 20 6:45 - 8 p.m. Mercy Doing Justice: A View from Honduras (Zoom event)

    What are Mercy values? What is the connection of Mercy to justice? And how are these concerns for expressing and advocating mercy and justice lived out in the context of the current crisis in Honduras? Come hear stories of sorrow and hope, devastation and regeneration, oppression and resilience and, above all, courage and determination.

    Your guides will be Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny, RSM, and friends Mary Anne Perrone and Gail Presbey, who recently participated in the international solidarity delegation Vamos a la Milpa in Honduras. Sister Mary Kay serves as a vocation minister for her congregation. She lives in Casa de Misericordia, an intentional community at the U.S.-Mexico border in southern California. Recently, she was Minister in Residence at Detroit Mercy. Perrone is an educator, activist and spiritual guide, and a member of CLASA’s advisory board. Presbey is professor of Philosophy and director of CLASA. See an article about Sr. Mary Kay’s trip in Catholic News. Also see her article, The human right to migrate, and the right to stay: Lessons from the border and Honduras. For more information, contact Presbey at or 313-993-1124. Co-sponsored by University Ministry. For more info on Honduras see 

    Zoom Webinar info

    Color Flyer


    NativeMK Dobrovolny headshot of Nebraska, Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny, RSM, considers herself to be a daughter of the plains with her love for wide open spaces and far distant horizons. She entered the Sisters of Mercy immediately upon graduation from Creighton University. In her 28 years as a Sister of Mercy, she has made her home in places as far west as the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and as far east as the rolling hills of Ireland. Her seven-and-a-half years ministering at the original foundation house for the Sisters of Mercy, located in Dublin, Ireland, were some of the most enriching years of her life and helped form a global perspective. She seeks a world filled with respect, love, peace, mercy and true "kinship". She is deeply saddened by how borders, walls and dynamics of prejudice and discrimination keep people divided today.

    Picture of Mary Anne Perrone holding a protest sign written in Spanish.Mary Anne Perrone grew up in Lansing, Michigan,  and graduated from University of Michigan in 1975. She is an educator and has been working in special education and bilingual education. Most recently, she was the director and founder of a new school for girls in Detroit, Michigan, called Our Lady of Guadalupe Girls School. She has been an activist for peace and justice since the seventies, working with several organizations and religious interfaith congregations. From 1986 until 1990 together with her husband and two young sons, they were part of Maryknoll Lay Missioners, living in the rural zone of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. During the last 15 years she has traveled to several countries of Latin America as a member of human rights delegations, including three SOAW delegations. She currently she lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and  works with the Latin America Task Force of Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice.

    Tuesday, Sept. 21 Noon Red Mass at the Law School

    The Red Mass will be held at SS Peter and Paul Jesuit Church (438 St Antoine, Detroit) at Noon.  All are welcome.

    The University of Detroit Mercy's first Red Mass was celebrated on September 7, 1877, the very first year the University was in operation. It reflects the University's commitment to its Roman Catholic heritage from the very beginning. While many things have changed, this founding vision remains the same. The School of Law began hosting the Mass when it began operation in 1912.

    It's a part of the celebration that emphasizes the religious roots of the University and the School of Law. However, it is not only a Mass for the School of Law, but for all of the judges, lawyers, law students, and those who work in our justice system in the city of Detroit. It is a service to the Archdiocese that we have offered as part of our presence in this city.

    The name "Red Mass" comes from the color of the vestments that the priest wears. The priest wears red because the Mass is held specially to invoke the Holy Spirit in guiding judges and lawyers during the coming year. The color red symbolizes the Holy Spirit since scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire and descended on the twelve disciples.

    When the Mass initially started in Europe, the judges wore red robes as well. The Mass coincided with the beginning of the judicial term for the courts. We try to keep that tradition alive by hosting it on the last Tuesday in September each year.

    Since the Mass calls on divine guidance for members of the legal profession, it is appropriate for all those licensed by the State Bar to recall the fundamental values and obligations that come with the privilege of belonging to the profession. Every year, the Renewal of the Lawyer's Oath of Commitment is lead by a high ranking member of the judiciary. Renewing the Oath of Commitment connects the request for spiritual guidance with the fundamental purpose of providing a system of justice for our community. 

    photo of Fr. Gary Wright, SJ presiding at the Law School Red Mass


    Tuesday, Sept. 21 7 p.m. Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, "Sacred Listening" CHEM 114

    Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, will speak about Sacred listening, which is at the heart of the spiritual life. It is opening ourselves in the midst of our hectic lives and listening for the whisper of the divine. But it is not an individual solitary practice. In this time of national turbulence we are called to sacred listening to each other, to our planet, and finding the divine path in the process. Join us as we explore the personal and communal reality of the call to listen deeply to the reality around us.

    REGISTER NOW FOR IN-PERSON SEATING (Limited to 100 seats. **Masks required.)

    LIVE-STREAM BEGINS AT 6:55 p.m. (Live-stream will be viewable at the top of this page or on our YouTube channel.

    Simone Campbell


    Sister Simone Campbell, SSS is the former executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – a federal advocacy organization founded by Catholic Sisters to lobby in Washington, D.C., for policies that mend the gaps in income and wealth in the United States. She has led six cross-country “Nuns on the Bus” trips focused on tax justice, healthcare, economic justice, comprehensive immigration reform, voter turnout, bridging divides in politics and society, and mending the gaps. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change.


    Wednesday, Sept 22 6 p.m. Mass for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

    Strangers No Longer is holding a Mass on September 22nd at 6 p.m. at Most Holy Trinity Church to commemorate this occasion. Details include:

    Monsignor Kosanke of Most Holy Trinity will kick off the celebration and Padre Beto of Our Lady of Guadalupe will say the Mass. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Choir will provide the music along with an Aztec drum procession. 

    Mass will be held at Most Holy Trinity Church (1050 Porter St, Detroit) 

    More information and live-stream link

     In-person registration is also requested. 


    Friday, Sept. 24 Ministry Day of Service with T.E.N.N.

    Students will perform a day of service sponsored by University Ministry and the Titan Equity Nourish Network (T.E.N.N.) More information. Register Here (only 12 spots available.)

    Ministry Office's Day of Service with TENN. Friday Sept. 24 10:15 a.m. Shiple Hall


    Sunday, Sept. 26 9 p.m. Mass with Mercy Reflection

    The regularly scheduled 9 p.m. Sunday Mass in St. Ignatius Chapel will be enhanced with reflections given by Sandra Mals, Mercy Associate. Irish scones will be served following Mass.

    Sandy Mals

    Sandra Mals holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Detroit Mercy and currently serves as the Religious Studies Department Chair at Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  She teaches various courses, including Women in the Bible and World Religions. In addition to her teaching career, she has taught, developed, and implemented programs and curricula that focused on teaching children the importance of value-driven lives centered on love and the importance of living an altruistic life.  She is also the author of the children’s character education book series, The Good Eggs, which she has turned into a nonprofit, The Good Eggs Foundation,, that serves basic needs for children in the Detroit area. Sandy is a Mercy Associate who strives to live her life by the Mercy values of justice, human dignity, service, mercy, and option for the poor.


    Monday, Sept. 27 Noon Mass with Reflections on "Celebrating the Ignatian Year"

    Join the University Community for Mass at Noon in St. Ignatius Chapel and stay after to hear Fr. Patrick Kelly, SJ, give his reflections on, "Celebrating the Ignatian Year." Bagels and juice will be served immediately after Mass during his reflections. 

    head shot of Fr. Patrick Kelly, SJ

    Fr. Patrick Kelly, S.J. '82 is a Jesuit priest of the Midwest Province. A proud and grateful alumnus of University of Detroit, Fr. Kelly received a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in 1989, a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in 1999 and completed his doctoral studies at the School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University in Theology, Ethics and Culture in 2005.

    Prior to joining Detroit Mercy in 2021, Fr. Kelly was an associate professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University for 13 years, where he taught courses dealing with topics such as Ignatian spirituality, discernment, Jesuits in a global context, the quest for God today, religion and sport in a global context, and sport and spirituality. His first book was "Catholic Perspectives on Sports: From Medieval to Modern Times" (Paulist Press, 2012), about which the prominent social scientist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said, “It would be a great loss if this book were to be read only by historians of religion, because the clarity, vigor and profound knowledge contained in it will inform and fascinate anyone who is interested in the broader context of mind and society where religion evolves.” In addition to numerous academic articles and book chapters about sport, theology and spirituality, he edited the book "Youth Sport and Spirituality: Catholic Perspectives" (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) and a special issue of the journal Religion and Society titled “Catholics and Sport in a Global Context” (2019). Fr. Kelly’s writings led him to be invited to work in collaboration with Vatican offices about the topic of sport, including helping to revise the first-ever document published by the Catholic Church about sports, “Giving the Best of Yourself,” June 2018. Fr. Kelly is a scholar-in-residence in the College of Liberal Arts & Education’s Religious Studies Department. You can read more of his work on theology and spirituality in relation to sports and other aspects of cultures at: