Doha, 04 December 2010: Thousands of Konkani speaking Catholics from Goa and coastal Karnataka who are residing in Doha celebrated the Feast of St. Francis Xavier the Spanish priest regarded as the "Goincho Saib" on 03rd December 2010 at the Church of Our Lady of The Rosary, Doha Qatar. The Catholic Church commemorates the feast day of St. Francis Xavier on 03rd December every year.
The 9 days Novenas in preparation of the feast started earlier on 24th November. Rev. Fr. Cypriano Dias came from Goa for this occasion and conducted the Preaches, Counseling and Confessions throughout these days. On Friday 03 December evening, the feast mass began at 05.00 pm at the parish ground in front of the church. Rev. Fr. Cypriano concelebrated the mass along with Rev. Fr. Anand Castelino and Rev. Fr. George.
The Mass in Konkani was attended by the Konkani Speaking Catholic Community in huge numbers. In his homily Fr. Cypriano explained the life of St. Francis Xavier and said that the life of St. Francis Xavier gives a strong message to us for adopting in our life. The beautifully sung Konkani hymns and the Bible readings were a joy to hear especially in this part of the world a long way from the Indian Konkan coast.
The Pirgint and the Mudthoms of the feast were honoured with candles which was conducted by Riana Pinto – Secretary of Konkani speaking community. Alvo Dias proposed vote of thanks and thanked the Priests, Parish Community, the Choir, Ushers, all those who assisted in the celebration and all the attendeess of mass. Light Refreshments and snacks were served to all the participants after mass, which was followed by the cultural programs at the Parish Hall.
Rev. Fr. Peter M. - Parish Priest, Church of Our Lady of The Rosary, Doha Qatar was the chief guest for the cultural program who visited for a short time and had to leave as he had to celebrate mass at the Church. Rev. Fr. Cypriano was the guest of honour. Other guests and dignitaries present on the dais were Rev. Fr. Anand Castelino – Spiritual Director of Konkani Speaking Community, Rev. Fr. George, Ambrosio Dias - President of Doha Goans Sports Club and Veena Rebimbus Pais – President of Konkani Speaking Community.
In her welcome speech, Veena Rebimbus Pias welcomed the guests and all gathered. In his address Rev. Fr. Anand thanked the community for organizing the event. He also thanked Fr. Cypriano for his visit to Doha for this occasion and the preaches throughout the novenas. He appreciated the Pirgint, Mudthoms, sponsors, all those who worked for this event and all the attendees for coming together to make this a successful occasion.
Rev. Fr. Cypriano in his speech thanked Fr. Anand and the entire community for inviting him to Doha Parish so that he could meet and interact with the parishioners. He also called upon the people to live a life in the path of St. Francis Xavier. Fr. George a Priest from Goa who was currently visiting his brother and his family in Doha spoke on the occasion and shared his experience in Brazil where he has served as priest for many years. Ambrosio Dias spoke on the occasion and briefed on the activities of Doha Goan Sports Club and thanked the Parish and the Parish community and all the members of the club for their support.
Fr. Cypriano and Ambrosio Dias were honoured by Fr. Anand with momentos and shawl, which was conducted in a brief Introduction of them by Alex Castelino. Fr. Cypriano was honoured for visiting Doha Parish especially for this occasion and the Preaches, Counseling and Confessions he has conducted throughout the novena days. Ambrosio Dias was hounoured on behalf of Doha Goans Sports Club for their supports on various occasion to the Parish and the Parish community. Prize distribution ceremony was conducted by John D’sa and Riana Pinto for the quiz competitions in various age categories which were held for this occasion in last week. The prizes were given away by Fr. Cypriano.
Rev. Fr. Anand announced that the Parish Souvenir “Ekvott” which has been prepared and edited by Eddy Sequeira is ready for publishing. Due to some technical problems it could not be printed in Qatar. But the Parish Souvenir “Ekvott” will be published in www.bellvision.com and also in other web sites shortly, Fr. Anand said. (Ekvott is already published by Bellevision, which can be accessed by clicking the Ekvott logo at top right of this page or can be accessed by clicking http://www.bellevision.com/index.php?action=suvaad )
The cultural programs which followed were full of entertainment; these included various traditional and western dances, Goan and Mangalorean songs, comedy skits, instrumental music and so on. The entire program was compeered by John D’Sa. In between the programs there were spot prizes on quiz questions related to Mangloreans and Goans especially on Konkani language.
Also most of the skits, the songs, quiz and talks were giving the message on Konkani language. Rightly so because Konkani is our mother tongue and we must pass it on to the next generation. Riana Pinto – Secretary of Konkani Speaking Community proposed vote of thanks. She thanked the Pirgint - Doha Goan Sports Club, Mudthoms, all the participants of various skits, dance and singing. She also thanked all who worked for making this event successful and all the audience.
The program was concluded with the Bingo and dinner arranged by the pirgint Doha Goan Sports Club. It was a great festive celebration which will be in the memories of the Konkani Speaking Community for a long time to come.