Sergio Cortés is far from without faith in his Catholic beliefs. Raised in an atheist household in Nicaragua, he fell in love with Catholicism later and never looked back.
Now, he and his colleagues at MYRACLE (Mercyhurst Youth Retreats and Catholic Leadership Education) are out to spread the word to the local Erie community by preparing high school students to become one with the church and participate in the sacrament of Confirmation in the spring.
“I just love sharing it with people,” said Cortés. “I like seeing people fall in love with Christ and (the) Catholic Church, and so I just want to spread it.”
Confirmation classes are the last step in the initiation process into the Catholic Church.
According to Cortés, leading these classes is an opportunity to present the material in a fun and engaging environment. The 40 students in the program are to follow by example, “fall in love” and “live” with their faith.
MYRACLE was contacted by St. Luke Catholic Church on East 38th Street in Erie, looking for youth leaders to teach the class and engage the students in an interactive and personal way, seeing as Mercyhurst students are only a few years older than the 11th-grade candidates. They later received the materials from the parish in preparation for the class to begin later in the fall.
“The program is independent from the adjoining parochial grade school,” Cortés said.
The 10 youth leaders will teach about their faith and what it means to live the Catholic faith and what the students are accepting as they step further into the Catholic faith.
These classes allow them to officially enter the faith, tradition and fundamental doctrine in a fun and engaging manner.
According to Cortés, this is just one facet of MYRACLE’s work and ministry. The group is also tasked with planning and leading a variety of Catholic retreats for the Diocese of Erie and other parishes and schools in the tri-state area.
These classes will begin on Oct. 2 and are to be held at least twice a month and will take place at St. Luke Church at 425 E. 38th St., directly next to the Mercyhurst campus. The program will run from October through March, and Cortés expects the students to complete the sacrament later in the spring.