Mercyhurst Youth Retreats And Catholic Leadership Education
“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe-in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.” 1Tim 4:12
We are MYRACLE, Mercyhurst Youth Retreats And Catholic Leadership Education, a passionate group of Mercyhurst University students who work together to plan and lead Catholic retreats for students in a variety of settings. We minister to schools, religious education programs, youth groups, and other parish organizations, serving students in grades K-12.
MYRACLE is a faith-centered, student-led organization committed to developing, engaging, and inspiring students and retreatants to know, love, and live the faith vibrantly and to become actively engaged in the life of the Church. The team is made up of 30 students from all grades, majors, and backgrounds who come together to plan and lead retreats for youth, engage in service projects, and participate in various team bonding events.
MYRACLE was formed in 2011, when a small group of MU students discussed the need for effective and enjoyable Catholic retreats in the Erie Diocese, and beyond. Since then, MYRACLE has successfully provided nearly 50 retreats to groups across 3 states, educating over 3,000 youth on faith topics such as community, prayer, sacraments, dating/relationships, and many others. The size of our retreat team currently stands at around 30 members, including MU students from all walks of life.
Throughout our ministry, we have focused on several different retreat topics; however, we are open to any and all suggestions. Some of the retreats and services we currently offer include:
Confirmation Retreat: a spiritually enriching retreat following the guidelines set forth by the Diocese of Erie. In this retreat, we focus on how candidates can step up in their own faith life and within the church community.
Daily Life as a Catholic Teen: a retreat that covers the various aspects of daily discipleship including relationships, prayer life, scripture, and morality.
Service Retreat: a retreat that explores the various aspects of service and invites students to reach out to others in their community through an engaging project.
In addition to retreats, MYRACLE also offers other programs including:
Living Stations of the Cross: reenactment of the Stations of the Cross offered during the Lenten Season.
The aim of our retreats is never to generate profit for MYRACLE or individual team members. Likewise, we put a considerable amount of prayer, thought, time, and effort into each one of our retreats. Therefore, it is necessary for us to collect some form of payment. We aim to keep our resource, training, and marketing costs to a minimum in order to offer our services to you at a manageable rate. We use a pricing system based on distance the team must travel to the retreat site, number of students, length of retreats (in hours), and the age of the students. Finding and securing a retreat location (such as parish hall, gymnasium, or off site location) as well as supplying food are the responsibilities of the parish.
Half of what is made on each retreat is placed immediately back into MYRACLE advancement efforts (materials, advertising, etc.), and the other half goes to support MYRACLE’s plans to complete a service project honoring each of the Corporal Works of Mercy.
If any parish would like a MYRACLE Retreat, but is unable to afford the cost, we are very flexible and willing to make special arrangements.
- MYRACLE has worked with over 3,000 youth across 5 dioceses in 4 years
- The team was the keynote speakers/emcees for the 2013 Diocese of Erie Middle School Youth Rally
- MYRACLE has traveled to the National Catholic Collegiate Conference in Indianapolis in 2011 and 2013
- Received the 2013 Catholic Campus Ministry Association’s Exemplary Award in the category of “Developing Leaders for the Future”
“YOU GUYS WERE AWESOME! I had an awesome time tonight and felt like I really learned a lot! Thanks so much for taking the time to come down and do this retreat for us! God Bless!” – Retreatant feedback
“Thank you MYRACLE group for enriching the minds and hearts of St. Mary’s middle school students during the ‘Daily Life as a Catholic Teen’ retreat yesterday. God has blessed you with a special talent in sharing your faith and values with our youth!” – Youth Leader feedback
“I learned that you don’t have to be a ‘goody-goody’ to be a practicing Catholic. We’re allowed to make mistakes, too, it’s how we learn from them that separates us from the rest.” – Retreatant feedback
“My favorite thing about MYRACLE is having fun with friends while helping others and teaching them about life and the Catholic faith. MYRACLE is also a way to increase my own faith.” – Team member
“I love being in MYRACLE because of the sense of community it provides. It gives me a chance to grow in my faith and see the youth we work with grow closer to Christ.” – Team member