Media Release

Abu Dhabi, Sep 11: The Konkani community of St Paul’s Church Mussafah, here, on Friday, September 8, celebrated Monti fest with great fervour.

The celebration began with the blessing of new harvest near Mother Mary’s Grotto by Fr Valerian Fernandes, chancellor, followed by showering of flowers with hymns glorifying and honouring Mary.

Fr Peter Mendonca and Fr Ashok Gonsalves were present during the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the congregation entered the church with a glorious procession. The festive mass started with first honouring and distributing the sponsorship candles to all donors. The main celebrant of the mass was Fr Peter Mendonca. The co-celebrant was Fr Ashok Gonsalves, spiritual director, St Paul’s Konkani Community, Mussafah, Abu Dhabi.

A large gathering of faithful attended the festive mass.

The cultural programme followed. The programme began with a prayer dance by Monal, Crissal, Deona and Stacy. Main coordinator of the community Robert Pinto welcomed Fr Peter Mendonca, Fr Ashok Gonsalves, Fr Paul Koenig, Fr Annie Xavier, parish priest, Fr John, assistant parish priest, and guests of honour Robert D’Souza and Savio Fernandes to the dais for felicitation and a floral token of love and gratitude.

All priests, guests of honour, and members of the Konkani Community apex team ceremonially lit the lamp. A huge cake was cut on the occasion by all priests and guests of honour. MC invited to dais all faithful who were celebrating their birthdays on that particular day. Choir played the 'Happy Birthday Mama Mary' song. Cake and juice were distributed.

The cultural programme began with a theme song Nove Jeevan Suru Karya” penned by Suresh Saldanha and played by Ashwin's choir group. 'Yeh Pavsa' dance performance by younger children.

Archillies, Sunita, Aaron, Caroline, Avinash, Cresilla, Jaison, Joythi, Vivian and Vinita danced to 'Mog Muliyar Itlo Borogi'.

A short comedy skit performed by Vivian and Joy left the audience well humoured.

Audience tapped their feet to a fusion Hindi dance by young children Alric, Ethan, Ian, Cleon, Crissal Ruth, Monal and Monisha. An English-Hindi dance 'Remix' was performed by Charlotte, Angelet, Nigel and Neil.

'Yego Mary' performed by Sunitha, Clevi, Aaron, Caroline, Cresilla, Avinash, Vanessa, Vivian and Vinitha.

Applause poured in for all performances.

Anchors Suresh Saldanha and Matilda Lobo kept the gathering busy with witty jokes and plenty of spot games.

A vote of thanks was given by apex team member Arvin Quadros, who thanked all people for their continued support. Fr Ashok thanked sponsors, donors, ushers and the faithful who supported every event of the Konkani community and sought their support for future events.

Fr Peter Mendonca blessed rice-corn and milk. Fr Paul Koenig said the grace before meals. People proceeded for the traditional dinner which comprised nine varieties of vegetable and the Vorn.

People shook a leg at Baila. The programme ended with the Laudate.