Mangaluru, Sep 1, 2016: Reports indicate Konkani Catholics all over and even overseas; marked the second day of the nine days of preparation for the "Monthi Fest" the Birthday of Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ on August 31, the second day. The pictures represented here are of the ceremony at FRH Fatima retreat house, Jeppu. This institution is not a parish as such, but it is place that is frequeted by Catholics not only from the region but even from many other places. Fatima Retreat House (FRH) run by the Jesuits (SJs) is a popular and well known place even to those just visiting Mangaluru.
A prime spot of Mangaluru one place that the progressive Jesuit fathers of St.Aloysius College fame quietly provide spiritual power of God to those who need, those who seek. The personal prayer opportunities are a boon to the needy and people of all ages can be seen. According to a historian of the local Mangalore Konkani community, this originally about three acres land and institution founded around the year 1939, the site having been gifted by a member of the Britto family, more specifically James Britto – a bachelor. It has been serving people for long; on June 7, 2014, blessing and inauguration of the New Divine Mercy Church at Fatima Retreat House, Jeppu Mangaluru gave it an added blessing
The back ground of this tradition is as follows:
The Nine Days : The Novena , a nine day preparation for the feast commences from August 30. Particularly children gather flowers from the surroundings of their homes (or now from the market) and carry them to the church in pretty little baskets or trays. Then after mass, they gather around the decorated statuette of Infant Mary and shower it with flowers singing a special hymn in Konkani ’Sekked Sangatha Melian’ (Let us all gather together). Weather permitting, in the open yard of the church. Toddlers to grown ups take part actively with joy. It is a thrilling sight to behold, the older folks too enjoy the sight with nostalgic childhood memories!