By Nick Cianci
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend…” (Prov 27:17)
Early last school year, I was lucky enough to be included in a group of students who created a program designed to serve the Catholic legacy at Mercyhurst. An initiative within Campus Ministry, Mercyhurst Youth Retreats and Catholic Leadership Education, or MYRACLE, began as a handful of underclassmen who wanted to create and lead Catholic retreats for youth across the Diocese of Erie. About a year later, the team has grown to include roughly 40 MU students, freshmen through seniors. We have successfully provided more than 20 retreats to various parishes, grade schools and youth groups located across three states, serving more than 800 kids ages 10-18. The MYRACLE Team’s potential for an impressive future is both exciting and realistic.
Working with this group has helped to strengthen my faith in a few ways. Most obviously, mentoring hundreds of younger students helps me to affirm my own beliefs, and pass them along to the next generation of the Church. However, I have also found that my fellow MYRACLE team members, the few dozen MU students that I work alongside, have also strengthened my Catholic identity. New friendships, new realizations and new lessons of faith fill our time together and impact my perspective even while we are apart. I owe all of these people and credit them with much of my faith development in the past year. Here’s to them!
Nick Cianci is originally from Greenville, Pa., and graduated from Kennedy Catholic High School. A junior criminal justice and sociology major, he’s active in Laker baseball, Alpha Phi Sigma criminal justice honor society and Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society, in addition to MYRACLE