New faces, enthusiasm always central to University Ministry’s spark

Detroit Mercy students, shown on a University Ministry outing, are central to ministry's activities. / Photo courtesy of University Mininstry


Detroit Mercy’s faith heritage is embedded in its DNA, and University Ministry has been central to it for the past 144 years.

The university is among just 28 Jesuit and 19 Sisters of Mercy colleges and universities spread across the country in 19 states.

The vision is simple for Detroit Mercy: form students through experiences of community, prayer, action and reflection.

This can be seen in everything the University Ministry does, including in the most recent additions to the program.

Anna Lawler, the newest minister of faith formation, has already made an impact on some of the interns who have had the chance to work with her this fall. 

Lawler graduated from John Carroll University with a bachelor’s degree in theology and religious studies.

She believes in assisting others with their questions about faith throughout their spiritual journey and that working at Detroit Mercy will accelerate this.

Detroit Mercy is unique in the sense that it ranks almost 20 percent higher than the national average in diversity, according to

This diversity in the student body allows for a magnitude of different perspectives. 

“My hope would be to just get to know everyone and talk with them,” said Sebastian Rodriguez, one of five ministry interns. “No matter the difference in faith or beliefs I think everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy themselves.”

Rodriguez is a junior studying architecture and helps with Ministry Mondays.

He feels it is the best way to discover who he is spiritually and religiously while helping the community around the campus.

This community is also the inspiration for intern Kate McFarland.

McFarland, a junior studying computer science, hopes to engage with newer students who she previously did not get the chance to meet because of the pandemic. 

“University Ministry was a great resource for me to make friends my freshman year,” said McFarland. “I also look forward to seeing new people.”

Mass is held in the St. Ignatius Chapel on McNichols Campus during weekdays at noon and Sundays at 9 p.m.

An Islamic prayer session is held in Reno Hall on Fridays from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.