Dubai, 13 September 2010: Following the age old tradition of “Monthi Festh” held every year on the occasion of the birthday of our beloved Mother Mary in the lush-green Mangalore and surrounding parishes of South Kanara, St. Mary’s Konkan Community (SMKC) Dubai also celebrated the Nativity Feast on Friday, 10th September 2010 in a grand style.
The concelebrated solemn High Mass commenced at 10.15 AM with Fr. Fransquinho Gomes as the main celebrant and Fr. Robert Lasrado, a visiting capuchin priest from Farangpet, Mangalore. The procession started from the main church entrance with Altar servers followed by Lay Ministers and the new crop (Novem) and Baby Mary’s statue. Fr. Frank in his homily spoke beautifully on Mother Mary’s qualities and invited the gathering to follow her qualities of simple and obedient life, Life of Faithfulness and Life of Prayer. Mary was obedient to the message of God when angel Gabriel announced that she was chosen to be the Mother of God and remained faithful to the “YES”. Liturgy was well conducted and the LCD display of readings and hymns made the liturgy more meaningful.
The church was over packed and many stood outside the church in the sweltering heat and all in all more than 4000 people took part in the celebration. As the symbol of new harvest, fresh fruits and vegetables were offered during the Mass. Soon after the Mass, flower festival ceremony was arranged in front of the Grotto in the church compound which became very meaningful with singing of “Sakkad sangatha melya” and “Morie Hogolsiyam”. The Konkani Choir, with soothing hymns elevated the spirit and solemnity of the feast. Cakes and cool drinks were provided to all children who took part in flower festival. Blessed corn packed in transparent pouches was distributed after the Mass at various exit points along with a copy of ‘UZWAAD’, SMKC newsletter was distributed after the Mass at various exit points.
St. Mary’s Konkan Community (SMKC) Dubai along with The KONKAN YUVA (youth wing of SMKC) hosted a Cultural program in the evening which commenced at 7.30 pm in the Church Hall. Fr. Tomasito, the parish priest of Dubai appreciated the enthusiasm and festive spirit shown by Konkan Community and thanked them for their great support and contribution to the parish.
In the evening a cultural program was arranged by SMKC along with its youth wing “Konkan Yuva” who celebrated their fifth anniversary. Konkan Yuva was given a platform by SMKC Dubai to exhibit their talents 5 years ago which lead to the formation of Konkan Yuva. Konkan Yuva took the initiative in putting up the splendid cultural program. The program started sharp at 7.30 PM with the prayer song by little children followed by small skit, group songs, dances and ‘Gumat’ session.
Rev. Fr. Tomasito Veneracion, Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Varghese Chempoly, Vice Provincial and Fr. Frank Gomes, Asst. Parish priest for Konkan Community were the guests of honour who were lead to the stage and were felicitated with flower bouquets by Mrs. Jennifer Mascarenhas, Main Coordinator of SMKC Dubai and Stephen Nazareth of Konkan Yuva. Fr. John Van Deerlin , priest for special projects, joined the community later in the evening. Fr. Tomasito had turned 50 on September 1 and the gathered KONKAN crowd in the hall gave a standing ovation singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in a resounding applause.
Scholastic awards were given away for the toppers in Board exams in A Level and CBSE examinations in X and XII CBSE board by the Clergy present on the stage:
O level: Aquilline Marica Lewis
XII Std: Coleen Iona Quadros ; Forila Helixia D’souza
X std: Lenita Grace D’souza , Savio Norbert D’souza; Diksha Melba D’mello & Gavin Savio Nazareth.
All the generous sponsors of the Monthi Fest celebration – Joseph Mathias Merit Freight Systems Co. LLC, Theo D’souza of Al Sufooh Tankers, Melville D’sa of Unifuel LLC, Lancy Madtha of Integrated Freight & Logistics LLC and Ronald D’souza of GMAMCO, Wilfred Tauro of Flomic Shipping, Francis Cascia Fernandes and Nailesh Mascarenhas were felicitated on the stage along with Veronica Alva of Winny’s, Representatives of Al Ain National Juice & Ref. Co., Lahej Sultan, Digital World and Pearl Printing Press who contributed cakes and juices and printing material for the event.
Lancy Madtha took the privilege of releasing the Konkani Devotional CD ‘Jevo Undo’ by Fr. Nelson on stage.
Fr. Tom thanked St. Mary’s Konkan Community for their good wishes and prayers and wished them well. Fr, Varghese gave the festive message to the gathering and spoke a few words in Konkani, although he does not speak Konkani. Fr. Frank thanked the gathering for their presence and coming to together on the feast of Mother Mary, as ONE FAMILY. The whole evening program was conducted well by Mr. Ullas Fernandes. The felicitation function was done by Mr. Richard Saldanha and vote of thanks rendered by Bhashkar G.
The young and talented ‘Konkan Yuva’ members kept the audience spell bound with their performances until 9.30 pm. A hilarious combined with poignant scene –“Ami Kedala Sodhrunk” was delivered by the youngsters and kept the crowd glued to their seats until ‘Novem Jevonan – traditional vegetarian meal with Voorn - was blessed and served in the church compound to a crowd of nearly 1500 people.
The liturgical ceremony in the morning and cultural program along with the youth in the evening was conducted superbly and in a disciplined manner under the able leadership of Mrs. Jennifer Mascarenhas, Main Coordinator, and all the SMKC members of St. Mary’s Konkan Community (SMKC) Dubai. The painstaking efforts and efficient drive to keep up the Mangalorean tradition and culture taken by SMKC Dubai was praiseworthy.