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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
The Observer

Annual ‘Feed Your Faith’ fest connects students of various religions

Roughly 40 student groups set up and decorated stands throughout South Quad to connect with students of all different faiths as part of the University’s annual “Feed Your Faith” event Wednesday evening. Hosted by Campus Ministry, the event encourages students to pursue whatever faith they connect with, from Catholicism to Judaism.

Fr. Pete McCormick, director of Campus Ministry, said the event began about five years ago after various students were wanting to create a space to connect with those of similar faiths.

“There was no real specific event for faith, and we ended up hearing from a lot of the student clubs, ‘Hey, how can you help us promote what we’re trying to do?’” McCormick said. “And you can’t ever replace good old-fashioned human interaction.”

Campus Ministry hosted Feed Your Faith Wednesday night on South Quad. Around 40 student groups of various religious backgrounds were invited to connect with students.
Campus Ministry hosted “Feed Your Faith” Wednesday night on South Quad. Around 40 student groups of various religious backgrounds were invited to connect with students.

McCormick said many options exist to practice Catholicism on campus, from chapels in every residence hall to rosary groups. However, he said, there are also many opportunities to get involved in religious activities for those who do not identify as Catholic.

“​​If you’re a faith organization on this campus, we want to make sure that you’re there, and it gives students the chance to get a full sense of what offerings might be on the table,” McCormick said.

The event also included food trucks, hence the name of the event. Each student received two tickets to use at any of the vendors.

Senior Bella Niforatos serves as a co-president for the Jewish Club, one of the groups stationed at “Feed Your Faith.” The group includes about 10 undergraduate students as well as several graduate students, Niforatos said.

Niforatos said she joined the Jewish Club because being Jewish is an important part of her identity. She also mentioned it gives her an opportunity to teach others.

“I really like doing outreach because a lot of people don’t know about Jewish identity,” Niforatos said.

Prior to attending Notre Dame, Niforatos said she knew there would be a space for her to join with others who identify as Jewish.

“My sister was here before I was involved in the Jewish club, and it’s gotten a lot bigger since then, but I think I knew that there was a space for me here [at Notre Dame],” Niforatos said.

The Jewish Club also welcomes non-members to participate in its annual traditions and events, such as the Passover Seder, which Niforatos said draws a lot of people in.

Another student group, Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI), serves as a student-led Christian fellowship that welcomes Christians from a variety of backgrounds — Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox — to form an interdenominational student community.

Senior Alexandra Murg serves as an outreach leader for ISI, which has roughly 120 active members. Her role includes connecting students to churches around South Bend and planning events for the club.

A member of the club since her first year, Murg said she was drawn to it because she wanted a place that was open to people of all different faith backgrounds.

“I’m personally a Protestant, and so I found a really good community about Catholics and Protestants that I could be a part of,” Murg said.

Murg said her favorite event is S.N.O.W. — Sunday Night of Worship — where the group comes together for an hour of acoustic worship.

McCormick said his favorite part of the event is walking up and down the rows and seeing passion and excitement from students of all different faith backgrounds.

“Each year, it’s got its own kind of wrinkle because you have different people obviously standing behind the tables, which is always kind of fun for me,” McCormick said.