Manama, Sep 10: The Sacred Heart Catholic Church Konkani Community, organised with all pomp and funfare the Feast of Nativity of our Lady at Sacred Heart Catholic Church premises on September 8 in typical Mangalorean tradition. It began with the nine-day Novenas honouring Mother Mary amidst a very meaningful, pious and thought provoking preaching from visiting priest, Fr Anil D'Costa , OFM Cap. Little children dressed in their colourful best offered flowers at the mini-Altar of infant Mother Mary on all the nine days to the tune of hymns followed by daily Mass. The Church service with prayers in honour of our Lady, began at 8.15am. with the traditional blessing of the new corn (paddy) crop specially flown in for the occasion from Mangalore hinterland rice fields with apt prayers and hymns as well as floral tributes by little children singing “Sakkad Sangatha Maellyaan” who had gathered around and the “kanshies” distributed to the devotees at the colourfully decorated and bedecked out-door stage and then in procession into the Main Church for the Mass offering with the cascaded glass carriage/cradle of infant Mother Mary adding a touch of divine festive birthday nostalgia.
The offering of the concelebrated mass began with Fr Anil D'Costa as the main concelebrant as well as Fr Darel Fernandes, in the main church which was beautifully draped in glittering white and light blue of Mother Mary’s chaste divine colours.
Traditionally, as required for the occasion, apart from blessed corn, there were variety of fresh vegetables offered around the Altar, not to miss-out even the juicy sugarcane that was locally grown on the island! So much for the first fruitful harvest of the Season symbolically adding a touch of aura and aroma of the occasion, with the blessings from God Almighty for his revered flock!
At the beginning the “Monthi Fest Candles” were blessed and distributed to the Parishioners who came forward as “Pirjenth” and “Moodhom”on the auspicious occasion. The Chief concelebrant Fr Anil Dcosta put forth an inspiring message of parent being the first teachers to the children.
After the Mass Service, the quintessential “blessed Noveim” was distributed to all. With cake and refreshments the crowd was lead to a short cultural program at a packed, Our Lady of Arabia Auditorium.
The Cultural program was compered by the effervescent Asha Moras who welcomed the audiencefollowed by the Cake cutting ceremony on stage together with the Sisters of the Sacred Heart School Convent, the core committee and the clergy present.
The devotional dance by children, a Konkanigoan folk song by the team,contemporary style singing by Team Acapella were all performed with perfection. The Konkani dance by “young at Heart” and a hilarious skit “TOMATO” with a thoughtful message left the audience wanting for more.
A day-long Family Cricket comprising of 5 men and 2 women, Monthi Festh Tournament was organised earlier by the Konkani Community Core Committee at the Indian Club premises on Friday, 18th August as a part of the celebrations. Winners and runners of the Tournament were given prizes on the occasion.
No duty is greater than returning thanks, and rightly so the vote of thanks was entrusted to Conald Veigas, an active Konkani Core Committee member. It was heart warming to see the crowds relishing the sumptuous vegetarian “Noveim Jevann” luncheon, together with buttermilk and jaggery-laced Payasam – all prepared by Mysore Bhavan Restaurant in typical Mangalorean taste and style for about two thousand people!
And so ended a memorable “Monthi Festh” on the aisles of Bahrain at the Sacred Heart Church premises in the right spirit and ambience of mingling family members, well-wishers and their families.