16 Things to Know Before FEST 2016

16 Things to Know Before FEST 2016

Written by the intern herself.

The FEST is a day of faith, family and fun, all for free, and I want to be sure that you have "EVERYTHING" to make it a great day!

1. Get there right at noon.

Beat the traffic and get your spot on the field. Set up blankets and lawn chairs and get ready to enjoy the day!

2. Bring an umbrella.

Stay cool with an umbrella! We will not be allowing tents this year due to safety issues, but encourage you to bring umbrellas to provide shade from the sun!

3. Stay hydrated.

Make sure that you stay well hydrated on the day of the FEST. Sometimes it can be quite hot, and we want to be sure you are nice and cool! Bottles of water will be on sale for $1, thanks to our good friends at Distillata, or you are welcome to bring your own!

4. Enjoy the concerts.

Lauren Daigle, Matthew West, Michael W. Smith, and the Newsboys will be lining up the main stage, and you don’t want to miss them!

5. Use your passport to everything.

The instructions will be located in the booklet you receive at the gates of the FEST. Complete the scavenger hunt to be entered for a chance to win great prizes, including on-stage seats for the Newsboys and a photo autographed by all the bands!

6. Pre-register for Marc’s Mom’s Relaxation Station.

Skip the line on the day of the FEST and register early here.

7. Take a tour of the seminary.

The seminary is one of my favorite places. With its rich history and eccentric artwork, a tour is definitely something you shouldn’t miss!

8. Volunteer.

It takes more than 1,000 volunteers to put on the FEST, and we are still in need of about 200 more! Sign up to volunteer for a two-hour shift and receive a free T-shirt as a thank you. You can sign up here.

9. Grow in your faith.

The FEST has many opportunities for you to grow in your faith. Experience the sacrament of Reconciliation, pray the Rosary, or worship our Lord in adoration at the Holy Hour of Mercy.

10. Donate.

The FEST would not be possible without our generous donations, vendors, sponsors, and the FEST grand raffle. If you are able, please donate to our Love Buckets before Mass or one of the many spots around the grounds.

11. Know where to park.

Parking at the FEST is free and easy! Check out this video for more info!

12. Win a scholarship.

Stop by the Notre Dame College tent for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship renewable over four years!

13. Purchase your raffle ticket ahead of time.

Beat the long lines on the day of the FEST and purchase tickets ahead of time online here.

14. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There will be contests all week with chances to win meet and greet passes! Be on the look out and be sure to enter!

15. Stay for the Mass.

Even if you aren’t Catholic, we welcome you to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with us. The FEST Liturgy is one of my favorites of the year and there are beautiful fireworks after!

16. Say thank you.

Please thank our wonderful sponsors, vendors, and volunteers! Letting them know how much you enjoyed the day, it really affirms all the hard work that everyone puts into the event.

If you want to know more, visit the FEST website. I will see you on Sunday, August 7 at the FEST!

Cover Image Credit: Cari Shell

Popular Right Now

I'm Tired Of Trendy Christianity

Life with Jesus is so much more than one big coffee break.

Okay, you're a Christian. After all, you have all of the tools you need.

You have your densely highlighted and underlined Bible, your Eno, your Chacos, your Patagonia backpack and of course, your beloved Camelbak or Nalgene water bottle that is covered in name-brand stickers.

Your days consist of going outside, chilling in your Eno and blasting "Oceans" by Hillsong and "Good, Good Father" by Chris Tomlin. Your room is decorated with lots of inspirational quotes, maps with variations of "send me" close by and probably some pictures of your last mission trip. Your Instagram page is full of pictures of your friends that are "gems," captions of how thankful you are for certain things and pictures of the last country you visited that say "take me back."

Oh, and you might have a tattoo in Greek.

Okay, if you know me, you know that I literally just described myself. So, when I say what I'm about to, I'm not bashing anyone at all. I am guilty of all of these things and God has really laid these things on my heart that I've found myself doing time after time.

It seems that in the time we live in, if you're going to be a Christian, you have to have all of the right things, and I'm tired of it. Christianity is not about having a certain look or personality, but about having a deep, meaningful relationship with Christ. I think a lot of people have the wrong idea about what being in a relationship with Christ actually looks like. I'm here to tell you that it's not anything like what I described.

Being in a relationship with Christ is not easy, and it's certainly not the most trendy thing out there (maybe on your college campus, but not in the real world.) It's about surrendering everything you have to a God who sent his son to be crucified for things you've done wrong.

It's more than just drinking designer coffee and Bible journaling and "being intentional."

It's about finding peace and joy in spending time with our creator. I know a lot of people just like me who fit the stereotype perfectly who have some of the deepest, most meaningful relationships with Christ, but I also know a lot of people who fit the stereotype who are just faking it.

I'm so tired of people who do not know Christ thinking that they have to have a certain look or personality about them and it hinders them from running into the loving arms of Jesus. We've made Christianity a club, and that's not okay. We have taken God's beauty and grace and made a fad out of it.

So, friends, I'm not saying that we can't have these things and still be Christians (because honestly, I like the way I live life with these things I've been given, and this is just who I am,) but I am saying that having these things are not what makes us Christians. So, be careful how you live out your walk.

Are you just doing it to be trendy, or do you have a deep and meaningful relationship with Christ?

Walking with Jesus is more than just a big coffee break.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr/Psalm Thirty Seven Four

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I'm A Christian Who Practices Yoga And That's Okay

Yoga and Jesus: Is it possible?


I have a confession: I am a Christian who practices yoga daily. I even teach it twice a week. It may not seem like a big deal, but to some, my yoga practice is considered demonic or blasphemous to my faith. I understand why other Christians hold this belief. Yoga is rooted in the Hindu and Buddhist tradition. Christians do not believe in actively practicing any other religion but Christianity, and monotheistic doctrine is 100% scriptural.

But, it is important to remember that in today's Western culture, many of the specifically religious parts of yoga have been stripped to offer a more inclusive approach to the exercises. To be honest, I have never attended a yoga class in which I felt pressured to conform to the ways of another religion. Yoga teachers see the melting pot of races and religions that walk into the studio every day and know that they have to make class inclusive or they won't have any students! I like to compare yoga to the Christmas tree. Christmas trees definitely have pagan origins, but Christians across America put up a Christmas tree to celebrate Jesus' birth. Although we are aware of the original purpose of the tree, we are also aware that such old traditions mean very little to society today. Yoga is a similar situation.

Most Christians who practice yoga know of its origins but also understand that hundreds of years have separated the practice from its original intent.

When I take a yoga class, I have a very specific mindset that I try to enter each time I approach the mat. This has very little to do with "altering my spiritual state." It's more about making sure that I'm getting the most out of each stretch and breath physically so that I am maintaining emotional regulation. All of these benefits, of course, extend to my spiritual life as well. Because my Christian walk is a part of everything I do, Christ has really, truly blessed me in my yoga practice. When I'm going through a flow, I pray, I seek answers, I ask questions. I get to focus on how God holds together all of my operating systems: physical, mental and spiritual.

Yoga is literally medicine. Doctors are starting to prescribe it like a pill. Here are just a few of the countless benefits of having a regular yoga practice:

- increased flexibility

- more effective circulation

- weight loss

- boosts immunity

- better focus

- increased oxygen intake

- sinus relief

- depression/anxiety relief (lots of serotonin!)

- better posture

- natural pain relief (even for menstrual aches and pains!)

- improved metabolism

- lowers blood sugar

- supports connective tissue

-maintains the nervous system

- releases physical and emotional tension

- relieves drug withdrawal symptoms

- prevents loss of bone and cartilage

- increased strength

- relieves insomnia and other sleep problems

For me and millions of others, the amazing benefits of yoga happen not because of calling on any other deity, but because of the strengthening and relaxation that happens when you go through the physical act of yoga. Of course, this physical positivity changes my emotions and spiritual posture with God, but for the better! I walk away physically invigorated, emotionally purged and spiritually more in tune with my Father's voice.

I think that's a really cool thing to experience, but it's not for everyone, and that's okay! If you're a Christian and do not feel inclined to start a yoga practice, that is valid! No true yogi would ever try and force a practice on anyone! But, it's hard to see a lot of my Christian friends bash yoga as "a practice from Hell" or "a way to open up portals" when it's been a Godsend for so many people ailing from things they never thought they would find relief from.

God, through the redemptive grace of Christ, is in the business of making all things new (Revelation 21:5). He can turn ashes into something of magnificent beauty, and I believe He can do it with yoga. Looking back, I can see how God has given me discernment with my practice to know how to worship and serve my God in yoga without compromising my heart in the process. Because of God's clear direction in my life, maintaining my spiritual integrity in yoga has not been hard.

I totally understand that an 800-word article may not change anyone's mind, and that's okay! I just ask everyone who might disagree with me to take into account not only all that I have said, but all that God says in Scripture, and use discernment to make a decision for yourself. I think that's really the heart of yoga today: asking others to consider a different way of observing life while staying completely true to themselves and what they believe.


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