Daijiworld Media Network - Abu Dhabi (ODS)
Report and Pictures by Oswald M. D'Souza
Abu Dhabi, Sep 14: Konkani Community of St. Joseph’ Parish Abu Dhabi celebrated the Feast of Nativity (Monthi Fest) solemnly with traditional zeal and gaiety at the St Joseph’s Cathedral premises on Thursday, September 13, 2012 evening.
The outdoor ceremony commenced with little children and teenagers showering colourful flowers to show their love and affection towards infant Mary. The impressive scene was remarkable with little kids thronging around the graceful statue of Infant Mother Mary with basket full of fresh flowers, near the church Marian grotto, enthusiastically participating in the spectacular ceremony singing the traditional “Sakkad Sangatha Melyam ani Mariyek Hogolsiam”, which echoed the church premises, the rhythm filling the air creating a blessed ambience.
The devotees braving the hot and humid weather had gathered in large numbers in the church premises. The new corn (Novem), specially flown all the way from Mangalore for the occasion was blessed signifying the new harvest. .
Later a short procession was taken around the church compound, carrying the decorated statue of Infant Mary bedecked with colourful flowers.
The concelebrated Mass was offered outdoor in the sprawling Cathedral premises by visiting guests priests Fr. Charles Furtado and Fr. James along with Fr. Valerian D’Souza – spiritual Director of KCO and other Konkani prayer groups, who is also resident priest at the Bishop’s House. The service was attended by large gathering of devotees. In his Homily Fr. Furtado highlighted the importance of Nativity Feast.
As the symbol of new harvest, fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables were offered during the Mass by young children.
The Konkani Choir, with melodious hymns specially arranged and conducted for the occasion under the direction of Lena Fernandes/Wilfred Fernandes, along with the talented singers of the parish was commendable and elevated the spirit of the occasion.
At the beginning of the Holy Mass Rev. Fr. Savarimuthu – the Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Church appreciated and thanked the Konkani Community for their enthusiasm and outstanding services towards the parish and lauded the devotion of the community towards Mother Mary.
Fr. Valerian conveyed the message to the Konkani speaking community from Bishop Paul Hinder in his absence, congratulating them and wishing them on the occasion of the feast of nativity and thanking them for their dedication and selfless service towards the parish of Abu Dhabi.
KCO’s current president veteran Michael D’Silva thanked those who contributed towards the day’s function and appreciated the help of all those who selflessly volunteered towards the ceremony, specially members of KCO, the members of the Konkani choir and other Konkani groups as well as the untiring dedicated ushers of the parish.
The blessed new corn (Novem) was distributed to all devotees after the Mass.
As per K.C.O.’s tradition, light refreshments were served to all the attendees, symbolizing the spirit of unity and sharing among families on this special occasion. The celebration relived the memories of back home, wherein families join in and have a vegetarian meal together along with the Novem.
It can be recalled that the nativity feast in Konkani was initiated by KCO (Konkani Cultural Organization) almost 18 years ago and has become a permanent fixture every year and KCO’s efforts in uniting people of the community is appreciated by all. The arrangements made by KCO were excellent.