University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., presided at the 5:30 p.m. liturgy Jan. 23 at St. Monica-St. George in the Newman Center for Students at UC, 328 W. McMillan St.
A week later on Jan. 30, Al Hirt, OFM, pastor of St. Monica-St. George, presided at the 10:00 p.m. liturgy at Bellarmine Chapel. Social events followed each gathering.
The Preach Out was the idea of Mickey Sheibley, campus minister at St. Monica-St. George who is married to Tom Sheibley, co-director of Xavier’s peace and justice programs.
“A lot of people get into the rivalry of the Crosstown Shootout,” she said. “The Preach Out will help people realize there is a lot of common ground between the two universities. It will give us a spiritual sense of how we can come together and connect.”
Sheibley and Kelly Albainy-Jenei from Xavier’s office of campus ministry say response from the students was great.
“Xavier students [looked] forward to participating in the liturgy at St. Monica-St. George, and afterward to sharing a meal with UC students," Albainy-Jenei said. "Likewise, we [looked] forward to hosting UC students who [worshipped] with us—and enjoying a late-night social. Hopefully, this can become a new tradition for our universities.”
“It’s an honor to be asked to participate in this event,” said Graham. “Extending the ‘cross-town’ collaboration to the spiritual aspects of our universities is such a great idea and further reinforces the UC-XU commitment to our students, alumni and the community.”
"I think it generate[d] some very positive excitement among students," concluded Hirt. "It's good Christian fun."
Click here for a photo gallery of the event at Bellarmine Chapel.