Monthi Fest at Holy Spirit Church - Ghala

Monthi Fest at Holy Spirit Church – Ghala

Report: Clarence Pinto
Pics: Dilip Correa
Daijiworld Media Network - Ghala

Ghala, Sep 10: The majestic celebrations of the grand Monthi Fest (Nativity Feast) continued in the Sultanate of Oman. The Konkani speaking community of Sts Peter and Paul Church, Ruwi celebrated the Monthi Fest on Wednesday September 7 in a grand manner. On Friday September 9, the Konkani community of Holy Spirit Church – Ghala had organized a superb spiritual ceremony specially to honor the Heavenly Mother, bless the new harvest corn flown from India and then, a fascinating cultural event along with Novem Jevann (Vegetarian Meal) for all the Konkani speaking people residing in and around Muscat.
The Spiritual Ceremony commenced at the Grotto of Holy Spirit Church – Ghala with the recitation of Holy Rosary. The ceremony of blessing of the Bambino (Statue of Infant Mother), new corn flown from the fields of Coastal Karnataka and holy pictures was performed by the visiting priest Fr Joseph Martis, Rector of St Joseph’s seminary – Jeppu, Mangalore. Fr Albert D'Silva, Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Church – Ghala was the co-celebrant. Children carrying beautiful flowers in baskets arrived at the grotto in a grand procession while the Konkani Choir of Ghala Parish sang – “Sokkad Songatha Mell’yam”. After the blessing ceremony performed, when the choir sang “Moriyek hogoll’shiyam” hymn, the children joyfully showered flowers and honored Infant Mother.

After the showering of flowers ceremony, Holy Mass celebration was commenced at the specially decorated venue in the church premises. The Konkani choir lead by the Prince of the Konkani music of Muscat, Oswald D'Souza presented many graceful and traditional hymns. In his beautiful and spirit filled homily, Fr Joseph Martis explained the love and affection of our heavenly mother to her children and protection rendered by her to offer eternal salvation. He elaborated the subject of Heavenly mother’s eternal love with various illustrations.

After the mass, holy pictures, blessed corns, cakes and soft drinks were distributed to all the faithful and treat packets were given to all the children.
The cultural program commenced with a beautiful tableau portraying Sts. Joachim and Anna titled Bhodvam Songim Koryam Noman (let us adore with angels) in the form of classical dance choreographed by Molly Pinto. Main dancer of the tableau was Pramila Pais, a seasoned classical dancer and she was supported by Rachel D'Souza, Meera Saldanha, Priyanka Mendonca, Shannon Menezes, Smita Dias and Gracy Barboza. Sts Joachim and Anna’s roles were presented by Thomas D'Souza and Aslita D'Souza. The other members of the tableau were Ashok D'Souza, Reena Lobo, Roshel Lobo, Jessica D'Souza and Rebecca D'Souza. Angels were Clatita, Evangelina, Gloria, Lizzy, Vanessa and Jacintha.

Eminent Konkani activist, poet, past vice president of the Mangalorean Catholic Center of the Parish (MCCP – Sts Peter and Paul Church – Ruwi) Nirmala Goveas was the anchor of the first part of the cultural ceremony. As usual, she presented a fluent and perfect vocabulary of classy, elegant and tasteful Konkani language and carried out the task with an ease. She, then, invited John Gonsalves, the Mangalorean Community representative to the Pastoral Council of Holy Spirit Church – Ghala and Michael Goveas, the power behind the magnificent show of the Nativity Feast - Ghala. John Gonsalves offered warm and hearty welcome to the community members and also, thanked everyone who were generously supported this event.

Guests of honor the cultural function, Fr Joseph Martis and Fr Albert D'Silva, were escorted to the stage by Tressy Goveas, Gracy Castelino, Joyce Gonsalves and Robert Saldanha. To announce the opening of the cultural program, four white doves were released to the sky by Fr Joseph Martis, Fr Albert D'Silva, John Gonsalves and Michael Goveas.
Monthi Fest is a festival of new corn and freshly grown vegetables. It is also a festival joy and love. The blessing ceremony of the vegetarian dishes was carried out by Fr Joseph Martis and eleven types of dishes were presented by Shane, Jeston, Neil, Arron. Arrol, Prince, Aldin, Joshua, Royston, Roshwin, Ani Arol

One of the prominent leaders of the Konkani community of Ghala Parish, Stany Menezes, raised the toast and invited everyone to the dinner table.
Second part of the cultural program was mastered by Lavina D'Sa, a Konkani writer, an engineer by profession and the past cultural secretary of MCCP.

Odyssey dancer Shaina D'Souza gave a perfect beginning to the second part of the cultural program with a devotional dance which was followed by a Konkani song – Mog Kora Mai Bhas Konkaniso (Love your mother language, Konkani). A professional musician of the community and music trainer par excellence Robert D'Souza played Lead Guitar with the support from Sunil D'Sa in drums, Rony Mathew in Base Guitar and Zino Saldanha in Organ.

Konkani Bhangda dance choreographed by Glenda Castelino was presented by tiny tots of the community – Liza D'Sa, Chelsea D'Sa, Rebecca Pinto, Stacy Vaz, Muriel D'Souza, Melina Goveas and Leona Rodrigues.
Gulf Voice of Mangalore semifinalist Peter D'Souza presented a thrilling song – Bosi Bhorn Vaad (Serve me full plate) which was followed by a Hindi Fusion dance by Priyanka Mendonca, award winning child dance prodigy of the community.

Well known composer, singer and writer, Prince of the Konkani Music world, Oswald D'Souza sang sentimental song – Angelina.
Mysore Mallige – a dance to the tunes of Kannada song was choreographed by Glenda Castelino, was then presented by Shavina Menezes, Rebecca D'Souza, Jeston Gonsalves, Priyanka Mendonca, Rochelle Lobo and Michelle Gonsalves.

Vivian and Reena Fernandes presented a lovely song titled Khalzant Bhorla. Salvadore D'Souza, Lancy Saldanha, Ajay Lobo, Jacintha Pereira, Praveen Dias, Thomas Dias and Dominic Dias gave the audience two rib-tickling skits.

Well-known singer of the Ghala parish Ronald Lobo and Allwyn Baptist sang a song ‘Mobile’. The other songs were Sobith Ek Ghor by Oswald D'Souza and Shalet Cutinho, Kenna Kenna by Merwin Rodrigues, Jivitha by Hubert D'Souza, Ek Disa Eka Cholyan by Nirmala Goveas.
Jawahar Pinto, a member of the Monthi Fest committee proposed the vote of thanks.
A Raffle draw was conducted under the supervision of Helen Sequeira. At last, there was a group dance to the mesmerizing tunes of Baila.

The Konkani speaking community of Ghala Parish had prepared delicious Novem Jevaann with various vegetarian delicacies. People enjoyed the traditional meals and joyfully wished each other – Bhagi Monthi Fest Tumkam. The Ghala Konkani community and the members of the organizing committee had worked hard to organize such a grand function in their parish.


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Comment on this article

  • Jyothi Furtado, Barkur/USA

    Sun, Sep 18 2011

    We missed this grand celebration. But, after seeing these pictures,we felt just as much a part of this as you all!
    Jyothi & Antony.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph, Muscat

    Thu, Sep 15 2011

    Dear A.D'souza,

    thanks for your comments, however i would like to clarify you that i beleive the spoons were provided only to those couple of guests attended and not to others. Kudos to mangalorean community of ghala for organising such a wonderful event and noven jevan for almost 1000 people. I would say i am lucky enough taking part to this event.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • A. D'Souza, Kodialbail

    Tue, Sep 13 2011

    Everything looked beautiful except eating on leaves laid on table is a mismatch that too eating with spoons like Americans is the height of ignorance.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • John Gonsalves, Muscat

    Mon, Sep 12 2011

    Thanks for the inexhaustive report by Mr. Clarence Pinto and beautiful photo albums by Mr. Dilip Correa. Appreciate all those who have participated and all those who have helped in organising the event. It was a great feeling to have such a big crowd of more than 900 people together for traditional Monthi fest dinner with 'Novem'.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

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