Monthi Fest: St Francis Xavier Church, Salalah

Report: Victor Moras
Pics: Tyrone, Raja, Audi

Salalah, Sep 13: The Konkani speaking Catholic community of St Francis Xavier Church, Salalah, Sultanate of Oman celebrated Monthi Fest on Friday September 11. It was a great day indeed as the celebration brought back memories of homeland. Fr Marian Miranda from Honnavar, working in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and Fr Sunil D’Souza from Kulur presently working at Bejai St Padre Pio Shrine were the celebrants.

The celebrations began by the recitation of Holy Rosary by Winnie Sequeira. After the rosary the congregation moved to the grotto with the melodious hymn ‘Sokkad Sangatha melyam’ in the air, children with plates of flowers and adults following them. It was a grand procession with the statue of baby Mary being taken out by altar servers ably sheltered by attendants. Fr Marian blessed the new paddy and the children showered flowers while the choir sang ‘Moriek Hogollsiyam’. The mass was truly grand with the meaningful liturgy prepared by Victor and the melodious choir led by Loy Mendonca, Victor Moras & group with Vinith Antony Moras at the key board. The colorful offertory procession by small children and adults, was organized by Lawrence D’Souza.

In his homily, Fr Marian emphasized the importance of Mother Mary as the centre of the Church and of our family. She is the best role model for girls and women of today to be imitated and keep the families balanced and strong in faith. At the same time he also guided us into flashback memories of the past, time spent looking for the best flowers to offer to Mother Mary during the Novena. He also pressed upon the need to preserve the traditional value of Monthi Fest. The mass became visually meaningful as Michel Pereira projected the hymns, prayers and pictures on the screen. The blessed paddy corn was distributed to the faithful after the mass.

After the mass, the faithful rushed immediately to the church hall for a feast of cultural extravaganza. It was a festive atmosphere in the hall with the decorations by Clement D’Souza and melodious DJ music by Michel Pereira, ably assisted in the sound arrangements by Kiran. In no time the hall was full with people standing on the sidelines for want of space.

The programme began with the lighting of the diya by Fr Antony, the parish priest of Salalah and Fr Marian and Fr Sunil assisted him. It was followed by a beautiful prayer dance led by Michelle Natalia Moras. There was also an adult dance to a jumpy medley led by Anitha Moras accompanied by Flurelle D’ Souza, Roylet and Helen Pinto. It got a thunderous applause and a continuous chant of ‘once more’. Brian and Flurelle D’Souza organized the songs ‘Vodlimai’ for children and ‘Ayayo Mayayo’ for Adults. Reggie Rozario conducted creative spot games for children as well as adults. The comedy skit ‘ghai’ was perhaps the most enjoyed part of the programme as Kevin D’Souza with Victor Moras, Samantha Noronha and Joel Almeida brought the whole crowd to their knees with pure comedy punches in Konkani.

All those who were toiling behind the scenes for days preparing the support apparatus for Liturgy, the programme hall and the fellowship meal under the leadership of Tyrone Suares, Fausto Fernandes and Michael Machado moved in with their troupe and as a result the whole day’s programme looked pacy, sleek and efficient. Victor Moras, Reggie Rozrio and Diana Carvalho as emcees also supported to make the programme look good. The theme for the whole day was ‘Konkni uloy, Kokni shikoi ani Kokni uroy’. The sumptuous meal was ordered from the Udupi vegetarian restaurant and served on time under the leadership of Robert Rego after the grace by Fr Sunil.

The organization of all the events was appreciated as all of them were timed perfectly and well coordinated. The entire programme for the day was coordinated by Tyrone Sures, Victor Moras and Michael Machado from the Mangalurean community, and Fausto Fernandes from the Goan community.

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Title : Monthi Fest: St Francis Xavier Church, Salalah


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