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Report & Pictures:  Odi Fernandes – Ilona Machado, Daiji News Network, Salalah

Salalah Sept 18:  ‘Monthi Fest”- Feast of the Nativity of our Mother Mary was celebrated at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Salalah.

‘Nativity of Mother Mary ‘, though a common calendar festival for all catholics it is basically ‘Monthi Fest’  for Mangalorean catholics with all the local features added to it. Children shower Mother Mary with the best of flowers, which they could gather during the previous day. The farmers collect the best paddy grown in their fields for blessing and housewives busy themselves cooking as many vegetable dishes as possible. The whole family comes together for the consumption of the newly blessed grain and to give thanks to the Lord through Mother Mary. 

The Mangalorean Catholic Community  and the Goan Catholic Community of Salalah with the co-ordination of Mr. Jacob Richard Machado and Mr. Faosto Fernandes put  in  efforts  to organize the event and the effect was visible. The church was full , the congregation was spirited and with all support  from the Parish Priest  himself it was a memorable occasion. Though not a konkani speaker, Rev. Fr. Kuriakose  joined the main celebrant Rev. Fr. Albert  D’Silva to celebrate the Holy Mass. The toiling and enthusiastic choir led by Victor Moras  and Michael Periera gave ample support.

The celebration began with the Rosary. Then the congregation moved in a procession towards the Grotto of Mother Mary. Children were enthusiastic in showering Mother Mary with the choicest of flowers. Paddy was blessed and then the Holy Mass began. 

The team as a whole comprising of Robert Rego, Tyron Suares, Clement D’souza, Lawrence D’souza, Vincent Fernandes, Valerian Rego, Allan D’costa, Melwin D’mello and Seby D’silva took over the arrangements for the day.  

After the Mass there were games for the children as well as adults. Lucky  dips were the pick of the day. People  left  the venue  with heavily packed snack boxes and a cup of ‘Whornn’ .

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