Celebrate Spirit kicks off Thursday




Celebrate Spirit has been a University of Detroit Mercy tradition for 18 years.

It was once called Mass of the Holy Spirit, part of a 500-year-old tradition to celebrate the beginning of a university’s academic year with a eucharistic liturgy.

“We are celebrating our faith, each other and blessings upon everyone for the new school year,” said Anita Klueg, director of University Ministry.

The event will be hosted in the Fitness Center beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 14, and it involves a lot of planning.

Klueg is planning Celebrate Spirit for the third year with the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry as co-hosts.

“We start in the fall or as late as the winter and work with a specific department or college in creating a committee, and in return they think of a theme and reason for the mass. They make visuals and develop a mission to take back with them to their school to follow throughout the year,” said Klueg.

This year, the events theme is “driven to serve.” The co-hosts will think of what students like best and plan along those lines.

“They allowed a second-year student to make a video that represents the theme as well as focusing on all three schools in the university and how they are ‘driven to serve’,” said Klueg.

The event brings together people of various religions.

“I like that multiple people of different religions come together to celebrate their faith,” said student Kortney Hepting. “It’s great that our school brings everyone together and embrace differences in everyone.”

Students and staff participate in the celebration of a new year, and this year the dance team will be doing a small performance during the event, as well.

 “I had to dance at the event and dance down the aisles. We set up the wine and incense for mass as well,” said Maddie Ferlecki.

As a Jesuit-Mercy college, Detroit Mercy takes pride in hosting an event that connects with the religious side of the faculty and students.

“I like that religion is a kept trait at our school. It’s great to celebrate everyone in their beliefs and faith values,” said Hepting.

Following Celebrate Spirit, the campus holds an organization fair where students get information on clubs students can join.