Report: Freddy D’Souza
Photos: Edwin D’Souza

Bahrain, Sep 8: Sacred Heart Church Bahrain's Konkani Catholic Community celebrated Monthi Fest, Konkan Harvest Festival in grand way on Friday, September 6.
Nine days Novena and Mass in preparation for the feast along with retreat preached by visiting Priest Fr Prakash Lobo, commenced on August 28. Throughout his preaching, filled with humor, Fr Prakash highlighted the role of Mary as the mother of our savior and our mother. Large congregation daily attended the Novena and Mass with great enthusiasm.  It was indeed great to see hundreds of children and tiny tots offering flowers to Mama Mary.

The Feast Mass on Friday was attended by around 2,000 faithful. The service commenced at 9.45 am at the outdoor stage, with blessing of new Corn by Fr Prakash along with Parish Priest, Fr Uldarico Camus, Assistant Priests Fr Freddy D'Souza, Fr Antony D’Mello and visiting priest Fr Lawrence.
This was followed by floral offerings to Blessed Infant Mary by the children to the singing of traditional hymns Moriek Hogolsiam and Sokkod Sangatha Meliam.
A grand procession led the congregation to the Sacred Heart Church where the solemn Feast Mass was held and was concelebrated by Fr Prakash along with parish priest, Fr Uldarico Camus, assistant priests Fr Freddy D'Souza, Fr Antony D’Mello and Fr Lawrence.
Fr Prakash in his homily, spoke about the challenges faced by the Church in the wake of relentless attack against the Marian devotion by various sects and urged the congregation to be on guard against false propaganda. The choir organized by Freddy D'Souza was well appreciated and helped the congregation to participate in the celebration meaningfully. Spiritual Director of the Konkani Community Fr Freddy thanked all those involved in organizing the Novena and feast services. At the end of the feast mass,  the congregation was served with traditional roce blended with newly blessed paddy, and refreshments.
A short cultural programme was then held in the Our Lady of Arabia Auditorium which began with an invocation dance “Moriye Mayek Hoglap Ditam” by Hensil Tellis, Grace D’Souza and Lavita Mathias, choreographed by Jovita D’Silva. The Priests, Carmelite Nuns along with Konkani Community Core Members were then invited on stage for the cutting of the cake. Rev. Fr Antony D’Mello, Spiritual Director of Konkani Community gave a  brief address.
This was followed by a hilarious comedy skit “Karbari Compounder” written and directed by Stany D’Souza Paladka, performed by Hilary Tellis, Sujay Pinto, Maxim D’Souza, Ajay Lobo and Stany D'Souza. The ladies of the Konkani Choir sang the melodious song “Bhagintlim Fulam”. Little children Orville, Reevan, Hadley, Mervin, Staphney, Ayona, Siona, Echelle performed a dance “Yego Mary” choreographed by Laurine Sequeira.  The cultural program concluded with a comedy skit called “Scientist Liverpool” presented by Jr. Luis Antony, Chris Noronha, Peter Fernandes and Antony Fernandes.
Konkani community coordinator Charles D’Almeida proposed the vote of thanks. A raffle draw was held and the prizes for these were donated by well wishers. Bombay Central Restaurant catered to a sumptuous vegetarian meal. Benefactors extended their whole hearted support by donating towards the event.

Santosh Danty and John D’Souza compered the event.