Bishop Perez took The FEST stage twice on Aug 5. First, he welcomed and greeted the large crowd of youth and families before Christian music artist Mandisa performed. Together, bishop and Father Bob Stec encouraged all in attendance to “Be the Light,” as they highlighted daylong festivities across the grounds of the Center for Pastoral Leadership.
Opportunities were endless for attendees to deepen their faith. From praying the rosary in English or Spanish, to confessions, or attending Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel, and even interacting with the various faith-based organizations in attendance, The FEST showcased the unity of coming together in Christ.
Four national Christian music groups, as well as local bands, performed throughout the day. The headliner, closing out the live entertainment, was six-time GRAMMY award-winner Toby Mac. Prior to performing, Mac joined Bishop Perez and guests attending the John 17 Movement dinner. This initiative focuses on working together to support anti-bully campaigns and understanding the heroin epidemic.
To close out The FEST, the stage changed from instruments and sound equipment to a beautiful sanctuary for the evening’s Mass. Bishop Perez and clergy from the diocese, including Abbot Gary Hoover, OSB, celebrated the outdoor Mass which included an outstanding choir comprised of members from parishes throughout the diocese.
During his homily, bishop shared that as Catholics each person receives the Light of Christ. As the outdoor evening sky grew darker, Bishop spoke of Jesus coming into the world as the light so that whoever believes in Him may not remain in darkness. “But like all of God’s gifts, they must be given away. The more light we give away, the more powerful the light becomes in us. And the more light we give away, we change the world,” said Bishop.
A grand fireworks display was the finale of The FEST. As evening concluded, Bishop Perez shared his gratitude to all those who attended and organized The FEST 2018, remember to “Be the…Light!”