“How Does He Do It? Why Does He Do It?”

An Interview with The Man Behind The FEST: Fr. Bob Stec

Hello everyone!  The FEST team has been busy buzzing in preparation for August 3rd.  As we accelerate toward The FEST, our team must remain focused and  always keep our mission on our minds and in our hearts.  In pondering upon this mission, I wondered why our fearless FEST leader, Fr. Bob, oversees this incredible and enormous event. What does this day of faith, fun, and family mean to him?  I asked Father a few questions to receive some insight and share with you  why he “does what he does!”


From an evangelical-standpoint, where did the idea for The FEST come from?

“The FEST really comes from the desire to bring the wonderful spirit of World Youth Days to all in our diocese.  From this inspiration, we develop a great annual day of faith – family – fun  — inspiration – prayer – friendship – The FEST.”

What led you to your calling in leading the FEST?

“God speaks clearly to us if we listen.  I just knew that The FEST was something God was asking me to share with our diocese.  It’s good for the seminary, vocations, and a great day for so many to spend with the Lord.  God called….every day in so many ways I try to respond.”

What keeps your momentum in overseeing such an extensive event?

“When people ask “where do you get your energy from?” I simply, sincerely and honestly respond:  “The love of Jesus in my heart.”  Jesus gives me (and all of us) the strength and energy we need to do what the Lord asks.  I am energized also by the desire to bring God’s message and love to ask many people as possible.  He said, “I have come to set a fire on the earth…”  I want to be an instrument of stirring that great blaze.”

Could you tell us about one particular significant event in which you encountered a moment of grace during The FEST?

“My best FEST moment in 2013 was standing in the street.  Jake Bihari and I were addressing some traffic tie-ups….so while thousands were on the ground, I had the privilege of welcoming and seeing who comes to the FEST….young and old….rich and poor…new cars and well-used…from near and far….all coming together for this day with the Lord and their family/friends.  That’s The FEST at its best moment.”

What do families get most out of The FEST? What do you get most out of The FEST?

“I think so many come to The FEST as a sort of annual retreat.  They come to spend time with family and with the Lord.  They come to hear holy music and pray.  They come to be inspired and are looking for resources to help them live better/holier lives.”

How is each one of us CHOSEN?

“God has a clear vision and plan for each of us.  We are chosen by God…if we open our hearts…and allow ourselves to respond.  As if God was tapping us on the shoulder….saying…I need YOU…I want YOU….I love you….and have great work for YOU.”

The FEST recharges and often is a place that ignites faith.  How can members of the FEST community bring this spark home with them as they continue their spiritual journeys? 

“We always give folks some things to take home.  The FEST is only valuable and purposeful if it helps people live holier lives the next day.  It’s only good if they/we carry home the message of the Gospel and put it into action.  We will give them some clear take-aways at the end of the inspiring Mass at the end of the night.”

Don’t miss Fr. Bob and this incredible experience on august 3rd.  Continue to read our blog posts and emails and check out our Facebook and Twitter and journey with us as we get closer to The FEST!

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