By Christopher Canadeo
Sophomore Eric McLoughney, FCRH ’19, championed the Jesuit values of Fordham University well before he ever set foot on campus. As a son of two Irish immigrants, McLoughney was always taught to find his purpose in America, and to seek a fulfilling life not only for himself, but also for others as well. His parents sacrificed a lot for the betterment of others and it is this ideology which McLoughney has not forgotten.
Growing up, one of McLoughney’s favorite spots to hang out in his hometown of Quincy, Massachusetts was the Irish Cultural Center. McLoughney would spend most of his Sundays there, learning about valuable Irish traditions such as Gaelic football and Irish music. It was there where McLoughney learned the value of being part of a community that cares for one another. “We were all really close in that cultural center. We all got along really well and had a lot of fun,” said McLoughney.
This sense of community has stuck with Eric ever since. It led him to become a retreat leader at Boston College High School years later. It was through leading these retreats that McLoughney further nurtured his passion for helping others and making his community a better place. At Boston College High School, McLoughney also learned about magis, a cornerstone of Jesuit teachings. To McLoughney, magis not only means “more” in Latin but also means doing more with passion and pushing yourself to give more back to the community. “For me, magis means doing the right things for the right people for the right reasons,” McLoughney said.
Now in his sophomore year at Fordham University, McLoughney has given more to the community than ever before. Not only is he a retreat leader for campus ministry, but he also actively participates in the Irish Traditions Club, the B+ Foundation, New Student Orientation and he has a job with the Athletic Department Event Staff.
“I like to keep myself busy and involved. I love joining new clubs and meeting new people, and Fordham University is great at allowing me to do that,” McLoughney said. McLoughney also has a passion for photography and enjoys taking photos of the city skyline, as well as candid photos of his friends.
As a retreat leader, McLoughney is responsible for coordinating events with his fellow staff members and selecting various places such as alumni houses for students to visit, reflect and form a more solid understanding of not only their relationship with God, but also with themselves. Eric believes that understanding oneself is extremely important for one’s own development. “I always set time out during my day to pause and reflect on what I am doing and if I am doing it with purpose,” he said.
McLoughney does not impose Jesuit values upon retreat participants. However, if they feel that they would like to form a stronger relationship with God, McLoughney is always there to help through prayer. McLoughney takes pride in being a beacon of light and hope for others on campus.
He always looks forward to leading retreats because it gives him the opportunity to meet and help unfamiliar faces. “One reason I love retreats so much is because it allows me to meet and share stories with people of different backgrounds and upbringings,” McLoughney said. Helping people of all backgrounds through prayer and other methods is simply what McLoughney does.
Aside from being a retreat leader, McLoughney also has deep love for soccer and is a member of the intramural soccer team, The Thundercats, which has been off to a successful spring campaign thus far. Next semester, McLoughney is studying abroad in Ireland just a few miles away from where his parents grew up. He hopes to not only further pursue his Jesuit education, but also learn more about his Irish culture and his own family’s roots.
McLoughney plans to pursue a career in environmental studies once he is finished at Fordham University. This field has always interested him, as he wants to become an integral part of the battle to mitigate our use of fossil fuels and other harmful natural elements. He hopes to learn more about how we can conserve energy waste and become more environmentally friendly. McLoughney hopes to make the world a better place not only for himself, but for others who inhabit it as well.