From Freddy D'Souza
Pics by Edwin D'Souza
Sep 13: Friday, 9th September 2016, will be remembered by one and all in Sacred Heart Church Bahrain's parish, for the solemn celebration of Konkani Catholic Community’s Monthi-fest. Members and the entire Parish Community came together to celebrate the feast united in the spirit of brotherhood and fellowship.
Record number of devotees along with children attended the nine days Novena and Mass in preparation for the feast conducted byvisiting Priest Fr. Roshan Rosario whichcommenced on August 31. Fr Roshan’s preaching enkindled the spirituality of all present as he stressed the need to imitate the virtues and also called upon the attendees to live the gospel values. It was indeed great joy to see hundreds of children and tiny tots offering flowers to Mama Mary daily.
The feast Mass on Friday was attended by around 3,000 faithful. The service commenced at 9.00 am at the outdoor stage, with blessing of new corn by the visiting Bishop of Mangalore H.E. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza, along with Parish Priest Fr Freddy and the Assistant Priests of Sacred Heart Church. This was followed by floral offerings to Blessed Infant Mary by the children to the singing of traditional hymns SokkodSangathaMeliam and MoriekHogolsiam.
A grand procession then led the congregation to the Sacred Heart Church where the solemn Feast Mass was held and was concelebrated by the Bishop along with Parish Priest Fr Freddy, Konkani Community Spiritual Director Fr Gaspar Fernandes and other Priests. A record number of Pirjent and Muddom came forward generously this time to support the event and were awarded with beautiful statue of Infant Mary and certificates by H.E. The Bishop.
H.E. Bishop Dr. Aloysius his homilyspoke about the meaning of celebrating the Monti Fest as a family feast where all members of the family joins together forgetting all the differences and takes part in the meal to thank God for His bountiful blessings and for the gift of Virgin Mary as our mother and intercessor.
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 Gaspar thanked H.E.The Bishop Aloysius and all those involved in organizing the Novena and feast services. At the end of the feast mass congregation was then served with traditional roce mixed with newly blessed paddy and refreshments.
A short cultural program was then held in the Our Lady of Arabia Auditorium which began with an invocation dance by Evita Castelino, Clarina D’Costa, Ashelle Castelino and Halona Dantis. The Konkani Community choir then sang the melodius song “NovenchJivon” HE The Bishop along with Parish Priest Fr Freddy, Fr Roshan, Fr Gaspar, Carmelite Sister’s Superior Sr Nirmala Priya were then led to the stage by Konkani Community Leader Freddy DSouza for the cutting of the cake and felicitation program.
After brief address by Fr Freddy and Fr Gaspar, a short felicitation program was held to honor The Bishop in his address the Bishop expressed his joy of being invited to partake in the celebration of Monti Fest and his long desire of visiting Bahrain was fulfilled and he thanked the Parish Priest and the Konkani community for inviting him.
The congregation was then treated to ameaningful family drama called “SounskratichemSatyanas”, written by Ronald Olivera and directed by Hilary Tellis and acted out by StanyD’Souza,Paladka, Sujay Pinto, AvinashFernandes, GracyPais, Hilary TellisandMiss Michelle D’Souza.
A lucky-dip draw was then held and the prizes for these were donated by well wishers. Flavours of Asia Restaurant catered a sumptuous vegetarian meal. The costs of the event were covered through support from various benefactors who donated whole heartedly and extended their support as truly one united community.Sound & Music was provided by Francis Lobo & photography was done by Edwin D’Souza.
Hilary Tellis and Santhosh Danthi compered the event.