Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

September festivals for the spirit

If you’re a festival fan, this has probably been a busy summer. The Indy Festival of Faiths differs from others: it celebrates spirituality rather than sausage and beer blessed by a priest. But the Festival of Faiths is not the only one to encourage spiritual education (as well as delicious food).
Newly restored and renovated St. Joan of Arc will officially reopen with French language masses at the St. Joan of Arc French Market on September 7

It has been a busy summer of festivals this year, with plenty of opportunities to celebrate different cultures, their music, and their food. Many of these fests have been held at churches and other places of worship … but the focus of celebration has been the food, drink, and culture rather than religious traditions.

Fr. Nabil Hanna in St. George Orthodox Christian Church

In September several festivals shift the focus. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat the city’s best French food (St. Joan of Arc French Market on September 7), best South Asian food (Hindu Temple of Central Indiana Temple Fest on September 15) and best Middle East food (St. George Festival, September 20-22). It does mean you have great opportunities to learn about the religious traditions that underpin the culture and cuisines. The fact that each of these Festivals are held at sacred spaces is important.

The fact that each of these Festivals are held at sacred spaces is important.

  • The French Market celebrates the formal reopening of the renovated historic St. Joan of Arc church. we’re invited to join in French language masses during the Market.
Hindu Temple of Central Indiana
  • The Hindu Temple Fest is held at the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana, one of the few Hindu temples in the world to include shrines of nearly a dozen divine spirits as well as a Jain shrine. Many tours will be available.
  • St. George Festival features tours of the remarkable St. George Orthodox Christian Church.

The Indy Festival of Faiths on September 22 will be different than these other festivals: it won’t be held in a place of worship. (It will be at the Indiana War Memorial, a shrine of American civil religion … tours will be available.) The approach of the Festival of Faiths: if the public can’t visit a spiritual space, bring spiritual spaces to the public.

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