New faces, enthusiasm always at the heart of the spark of university ministry

At the heart of the ministry’s activities are the students of Detroit Mercy, presented during an outing from the university ministry. / Photo courtesy of the University Ministry


Detroit Mercy’s religious heritage is steeped in its DNA, and university ministry has been at the heart of it for the past 144 years.

The university has just 28 Jesuit Colleges and Universities and 19 Sisters of Mercy spread across the country in 19 states.

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

It shows in everything university ministry does, including the most recent additions to the program.

Anna Lawler, the most recent Faith Training Minister, has already had an impact on some of the interns who were fortunate enough to work with her this fall.

Lawler graduated from John Carroll University with a BA in Theology and Religious Studies.

She believes in helping others with their faith questions along their spiritual journey and that working at Detroit Mercy will speed that up.

Detroit Mercy is unique in that it ranks nearly 20 percent higher than the national average for diversity, according to Collegefactual.com.

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

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

Rodriguez is a junior architectural student and helps with ministry Mondays.

He thinks it’s the best way to find out who he is spiritually and religiously while helping the community around campus.

This community is also the inspiration for intern Kate McFarland.

McFarland, a junior studying computer science, is hoping to engage with newer students she had not had the chance to meet before due to the pandemic.

“University ministry was a great resource for me to make friends in my freshman year,” said McFarland. “I can’t wait to see new people too.”

Mass takes place in Saint-Ignace Chapel on the McNichols campus during the week at noon and Sunday at 9 p.m.

An Islamic prayer session takes place in the Reno Hall on Friday from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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