Universities host Crosstown Preach Out

University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., to preach at University of Cincinnati for inaugural event | January 18, 2005

Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati held the first ever Crosstown Preach Out on Sunday, Jan. 23, and Sunday, Jan. 30. On each of those days, members of one university visited the other’s Catholic liturgy. Those attending were encouraged to wear their school colors.

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.