By Melissa Klaric
Herald Staff Writer
Close to 500 middle school kids from Catholic churches and schools in the Erie Diocese on Sunday packed into the gym at Kennedy Catholic High School for the annual middle school youth rally.
“The purpose of the youth rally is to incorporate the theme of God into our lives. This is great – it gives us hope to see 500 kids here,” Deacon John Mang of Our Lady of Peace, Erie, said.
The Youth Ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Erie, which plans the annual rally, invited a group of students from Mercyhurst College, Erie, to run the show this year.
“Myracle” is like any other college student organization. The group of 35, sponsored by the college campus ministry, coordinates retreats, gives talks to youths and more.
They are eager to spread their message to any group.
“The club is only two years old and we’re really getting the ball rolling – hopefully for a long time,” John Wagner, a junior at Mercyhurst, said.
Myracle has taken their act on the road to churches, schools and other organizations all over western and central Pennsylvania, from Erie to Pittsburgh to DuBois.
“This is a great opportunity to give back to the community,” Wagner said.
He explained a game they play with kids that opens up discussion on issues that youths face daily. Some of the kids will have the sign, “Say hi to me,” placed on their foreheads. The game gets kids talking to each other and then the Myracle group talks to the youths on a peer level.
The Myracle group is not messing around when it comes to spreading the word of God. They are dedicated to putting on a show that keeps kids interested.
In the Kennedy gym around 1:30 p.m., you would have found the lively Joe Goodwin rapping about faith and God, which had the kids up on their feet.
Shortly after, he had everyone’s rapt attention as he spoke of how much fun life is with God in it. Goodwin told the crowd he gave up a full scholarship to college because he was called to be a missionary.
“I have not regretted it one day,” Goodwin said.
Tammie Mang, parishioner of Our Lady of Peace, Erie, summed up the theme of the rally: “It’s fun to have faith,” she said.
For more information on “Myracle” visit their website at www.myracle.org