Celebrate Spirit brings Detroit Mercy together

The University of Detroit Mercy celebrated its Celebrate Spirit mass on Sept. 14, which is the official welcoming event for the faculty, staff, and the students to start off the new school year. All faiths are recognized, and all religions are welcome. This annual event, which is held in the Fitness Center, is a long European tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages.  

The Celebrate Mass event started off with a welcome song performed by the very talented school choir. It than proceeded with a couple of sermons and lectures, one about recycling from the Dean of Architecture & Community Development, Dan Pitera. He spoke about recycling and how important it is to keep the earth safe. He also was very passionate about how we need to treat each other with respect and accept somebody for who they are, even when they’re different from you. 

Then visiting Fr. Damian Torres-Botello, S.J., spoke about creation and told a story about how God created the earth in seven days. He said the first day God just created the atmosphere and then after that he made things that could move. Then God eventually told the angels that he was going to make people with the ability to create and be kind. After that, the Sisters of Mercy blessed everyone, prayed for them and gave them inspiration for a great academic year.

At that point of the event, the choir began singing the song “Lamb of God.” One performer that really stood out was the drummer of the procession. This really was powerful and gave a different type of energy to the event. 

Billy Hart, who is a communications major, said, “Hearing the drums makes you feel good, it makes you feel excited about starting the school year.” 

Besides the music there were many other highlights from the event that stood out. One was the priest emphasizing the importance of the students to attend a retreat. The school offers many different types of retreats, and it is a very good way to meet other students and revitalize your spirit. He emphasized how beneficial it is for the incoming freshman class and also the different types of retreats the school offers.

After the event, all attendees were given a recycled pen and were offered sandwiches and lemonade. They also had the opportunity to meet the president of the University of Detroit Mercy, Donald B. Taylor. This event really helped create a sense of community and that all the students, staff and faculty are united to guide each other through the school year.  

Celebrate Spirit mass is for everyone, and it creates a very giving atmosphere. Most of the class schedules are shifted for the day so everyone can participate in the event on the McNichols campus.

Another student, Evan DeVito, who helped set up and take down the chairs for the event, said, “This is such a positive experience, you can’t help but feel revived and ready to start the year.”