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A Night Out with the Pistons

The Sacred Heart Alumni Association hosts its first outing to a Detroit Pistons basketball game.

by Katherine Tibai

On January 31, thirty-nine alumni, family, friends, and staff of Sacred Heart Major Seminary gathered in Little Caesars Arena to enjoy a night of fellowship, fun, and basketball. The freezing winter temperatures outside did not affect the warm atmosphere inside the arena as old friends and classmates welcomed the opportunity to share time with each other. The Detroit Pistons hosted the Dallas Mavericks, and the Sacred Heart family cheered with enthusiasm when the home team secured a 93-89 win in the final few minutes of the game.

“We all have busy lives,” said Fr. Joseph Horn, a 1996 graduate of Sacred Heart and current vocations director for the Archdiocese of Detroit. “This event brought so many of us [priests and alumni] out of our normal routines to catch up and share what’s been happening over the years.”

In previous years the Alumni Association from Sacred Heart hosted a summer night out with the Detroit Tigers, but this was the first time an event was planned for Pistons basketball. The night began at 6 p.m. in one of the upper gondolas of the arena. Guests snacked on salad, hot dogs, chips, a great nacho bar, and some outstanding desserts while watching the teams in pregame warm ups and the game. The game began at 7 p.m. and attendees took advantage of the freedom to move about the gondola to foster fellowship or on the elevated sitting for a great view of the game happening below.

by Katherine Tibai

“I sincerely enjoyed my time,” said Dcn. Marc Hopps, a recently ordained transitional deacon for the diocese of Saginaw and 2018 graduate at Sacred Heart. Deacon Marc drove down from St. Agnese parish in Freeland, Michigan to reunite with his friends and former classmates, Mark Tibai and Fr. Christopher Muer, who are also 2018 graduates. “In a parish setting, a fraternity with other priests can be difficult to achieve,” Deacon Marc. “An event like this provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends.”

As a bonus for the group event, all the attendees received a complimentary gift from the arena. Sacred Heart guests received a knit stocking hat with a Detroit Pistons logo patch stitched on the front. The hat was the perfect item for guests to wear as they ventured into the polar vortex at the end of the night for their drive home.

“I enjoyed the game, food, friends, and the atmosphere,” Deacon Hopps said. “We thank the Sacred Heart Alumni Association for organizing this event.”

The Alumni Association hosts a multitude of events throughout the year. To stay connected and for more information about upcoming alumni events, visit

Katherine Tibai

Katherine Tibai is an administrative assistant for the office of Institutional Advancement for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.