Muscat: Colorful Monti Fest celebration at Ghala Parish, Oman

Report: Nirmala Goveas

Pics: Joachim D’Souza

Muscat, Sep 14: The Monthi fest – 2019 at Ghala church celebrated in grandeur, pomp and splendor which marked history in manifold phases. The tradition that began in Monte Mariano Church at Farangipet in 1763 to integrate the aspirations of our agrarian families continues to bind the community together was beautifully carried on this year.

GMCC President Sunil Furtado and his committee members comprising of Prem Colaco, Nirmala Goveas, Ophelia Lazarus, Helen Sequeira, Alwin Fernandes, Linda D’Souza, Naveen Mathias, Prakash D’Sa, Joel D’Souza, Roshan Saldanha and Ajay Barboza, have left no stone unturned to make this event into a sensational and memorable one meeting the aspirations of the community members.

The Ghala Mangalorean Catholic community of the Holy Spirit Church began its preparation for the Monthi Fest with the nine days novena mass with Flower showering and fellowship meal starting from 28th August. A Mangalorean guest priest– Fr. Wilson Sequeira gave inspiring homilies during the nine days helping the faithful to deepen their spirituality and strengthen their belief on power of prayer. On Saturday, 7th September, 2019, the community celebrated the Monthi Fest in keeping with the age old tradition of family spirit.

The celebration began at 4.00 pm with the recitation of Rosary at the Grotto, showering of flowers to infant Mary by children, blessing of “Novem” hand-picked from the paddy fields of our homeland followed by solemn Eucharistic celebration in Konkani. The children were given goody bags for their active participation in flower showering during Novena days. A sumptuous “NovemJevan” meal on Banana leaf in native tradition was served as the beats of Music and splendid cultural program unfolded on the stage in front. The entire faithful and community members will remember this event for years to come.

Meera Saldanha led the Rosary followed by the procession ofchildren, committee members, Priests carrying flowers and Infant Mary in cradle. Randolph &Lavita Mendonca and Ophelia Lazarus & Craig Lazarus carried pictures of Mama Mary & Corn and marched towards Grotto for Showering of Flowers and blessing of “Novem” which was splendidly conducted by LavinaD’Sa.

A solemn Eucharistic Mass in Konkani was concelebrated byFr. Wilson Sequeira long with Fr. Marian Miranda, Fr. Vijay Machado, Fr. Roshan Rosario. Fr. Vijay, in his homily focused on Mother Mary’s virtues and her role in our families and emphasized on importance of prayer in our families. Fr. Marina Miranda our spiritual director,expressed his gratitude to Fr. Wilson Sequeira andthanked each & everyone responsible for making the celebration beautiful &meaningful.

The Choir being an integral part of the celebration added melody to the devotion. The vibrant choir team sang to the Glory of God and the congregation actively joined their voices for a meaningful participation. The Choir was led by Charlotte Cutinha, RonyLobo withTriven Goveas on the keyboard. The team consisted of HubertD’Souza, Joel Mendonca, Joel D’Souza, Sachin Lobo, Prem Colaco, Sabrina Pinto, Renita Saldanha, VinuthaD’Silva, Veena Fernandes, Ida Pinto, Hendrita Colaco, Tressy Goveas, and Anna Rebello,The readings by Eula Pinto, Vijay D’Cunha & Prayers of faithful by Priyanka Mendonca, Melina Goveas, Roshwin Lobo engagedthe spiritual enthusiasm among the faithful.

Offertory prayers were read by Johan Mathias, Ria Lobo, Laura D’Sa, Tanish Saldanha, Rebecca D Silva, Jonathan Saldanha. Offertory by Candles - Nyssa Barboza & Lester Sanctis, Flowers - Jenny Joseph & Wilbur D’Souza, Fruits - Lydia & Roshan Saldanha, Vegetables - Celine &Ignatius Lobo, Novem - Tina & Teril Saldanha, Bread &wine -- Sunita & Sunil Furtado. Altar Servers - Delvin Lobo, Macniel D’Souza, Walwyn Dias, Chris Alister, Carol Rodrigues, Nieve Pinto, Rayner D’Cunha, Ransley D’Cunha. Eucharistic Ministers- GracyAbreo, Alwin Fernandes, Philomena Mendonca, Shalini Henrique, Margaret De Souza&John Gonsalves. Ushers - Sebastian D’Souza, Francis D’Souza, Urban Fernandes, Lawrence D’Souza, Joseph D’Souza, Praveen Lobo, John Fernandes, Joyce Raposo, Rosy and Rexon Rodrigues.

After the Mass, the blessed Paddy Corns (Novem) and the holy pictures of Mother Mary were distributed and all the children received goody bags while refreshments were served to the gathering.

Preparations for this event were on for quite some time under the leadership of Sunil Furtado, vibrant and eminent leader of the Mangalorean community. Helen Sequeira, talented actress of the communityhad taken the responsibilities of Mass & Liturgy related services. Nirmala Goveas, excellent singer,well known writer and public speaker had taken the responsibilities of Cultural& Entertainment along Linda D’Souza, Naveen Mathias & Joel Dsouza giving a new dimension to the entire show with many innovative ideas and Konkani traditional themes. Ophelia Lazarus, Alwin Fernandes & Prakash D’Sa managed all financial aspects of the programme. Ajay Barboza handled the techno support along with Talentz to enhance the beauty of the entire program with beautiful visual graphics on the LED screen done for the first time in the history of Ghala Parish. Prem Colaco & Roshan Saldanha providing excellent logistic support all throughout.

Cultural part of the programme began with extending birthday wishes to Mother Mary and showcasing St. Anna & St. Joachimwith Infant Mary together with Angels. Lawrence and Vinitha D'Souza played the role of St. Anna & St. Joachim respectively. Little children Aiden Paes, Nathan D’Souza, AloraD’Souza and Nessa Saldanha, played Angels role. Sunita Furtado played the role of Mother Mary on a beautiful crescent moon decked in 12 star crown. The look of her image and galaxy visuals on screen made us feel heaven on earth. The Narrators of the Tableau were, John Gonsalves,Nirmala Goveas and AsunthaD’Souza. The Tableau was directed by Naveen Mathias and the whole act was coordinated by Linda D’Souza.Background Music by Loveline Rego.

The spiritual dance was performed by the Sparkling Dance Crew consisting of Tania Saldanha, DelishiaD’Souza, Siona Saldanha, Cheryl D’Sa, and Nyssa Barboza.The dance was choreographed by Priyanka Edna Mendonca.

Peter Fernandes and Praveen Serra conducted the early part of the programme in an innovative manner keeping the audience humorously engaged.

Sunil Furtado escorted Fr. Marian Miranda, Fr. Wilson Sequeira, Fr. Vijay Machado and Fr. Roshan Rosario together with Executive Committee to the dais. The Programme was inaugurated by placing the Bambino in the nicely decorated cradle by the priests.The birthday cake was magically brought from the top of the stage to the table by Joel D’Souza and was cut by all priest and EC on stage. Fr Wilson Sequeira blessed the variety of vegetarian delicacies prepared by the community and sought God’s blessings on the meal. The food was brought to the stage by the four Gurkars, Michael Goveas, John Gonsalves, Edward Mendonca and Stany Menezes. The Gurtkars were honored with flower bouquets by Fr. Marian Miranda. Then Naveen Mathias, in LuwadLiya’s role invited the gathering in customary way “SakdankJevnakUdakAilay” to partake in the meal.

Honoring of Charlotte&Avil Cutinha for their yeoman service to the Choir of the community for last 18 years was done by Fr. Vijay Machado.Honoring of Spiritual Dance kids and Priyanka Mendonca done by Fr. Roshan Rosario.

Group dance by tiny tots’ group Manka and Monthyan consisted of Francesca Colaco, Swedle Saldanha, Nessa D'Souza, Lianne Saldanha, Johan Mathias, Nathan D'Souza, Denzel Fernandes, Clement Rebello, Evan Mathias, Ashton Paes, Jayden D‘Silva, Alton D'Souza, Neola D'Souza, Nia Saldanhawhich was choreographed by Suman Mathias, Veena Paes, Zeeliya D’Souza and Sunita Furtado entertained the audience.

The entertainment flowed through the evening with,
Special act by Stephen D’Souza.
Duet by RenitaDsouza& Jason Cardoza.
Dance by team Sizzlers Stephen D’souza, Craig Lazarus, Ian D’silva, LesterSanctis& Melina Goveas. Choreographed by Stephen D’souza
Solo by Sachin Joy Lobo.
Dance by Team Dazzlers, VeenaPaes, Hendrita Colaco, VinuthaD’Silva, ReshmaD’Costa, Sunita Furtado, Stephen D’Souza, Craig Lazarus, Ian D’Silva. Choreographed by Stephen D’Souza.
Trio by Rony Lobo, ReenaD’Souza& Hubert D’Souza.
Duet by Renita Quadras and Joel Mendonca.
Solo by Ronson D’Souza.
Duet byNirmala Goveas and Jason Cardoza.
The musicians Robert D’Souza, Triven Goveas, Dominic Diaz and Prakash D’Souza came together with all the singers and performed “BailaBaila…..” which brought the audience of all age groups on the floor thoroughly enjoying the event.
The master compere Peter Fernandes with his scintillating comedy skills enthralled the audience throughout. Terence Vinod D’Souza, a well-known radiant and vivacious personality of Muscat conducted spot games and Bonanaza draw enthusiastically to generate tremendous involvement from the audience.

Contribution by ever smiling LoveleenRego as DJ, Photography by Joachim D’Souza and PowerPoint presentation by Jessica D’Souza enhanced the show.

The Noven Jevan was served to 1100+ people, which was prepared at homes with love and care for the community by:

Lonche sponsored by Gilbert / Ida Castelino.

Kuvalo – Polov sponsored by Henry & Gracy Castelino, Supported by Loy & Lionel Castelino, Praveen Niddodi, Joel Sequeira, Joel Dsouza, Preema Dsouza, Wilson Fernandes, Francis & Sonal Menezes. Sam Menezes & Ivan Milberg, Margaret & Liguory D'Mello.

Chono Sponsored by & Vorn prepared by Ignatius & Celine Lobo and family. Supported by Henry D'Souza, Anil Monis & Lancy D'Sa, Shailesh Cutinha. Vorn sponsored by Ophelia Lazarus.
Bhenda by John & Joice Gonsalves, Mervin & Veena Lewis, Darryl & Joanna Rego, Praveen & Carol Pinto, Melwin & Reshma Rebello, Lawrence & Veena Fernandes, Nirmala Fernandes, Jossie, Freddie, Herman, Sunil & Sunita Furtado.

Karanthe by Lancy Saldanha & family, Vincent D'Costa & family, Victor Walter Mascarenhas, Navin D'Costa, Rajesh.

Alsando by John Fernandes, Urban Fernandes, Tony D’Souza, Sunil D'Souza, Lloyd D'Souza, Lawrence D'Souza, Wilson Fernandes & Family, Dalton.

Koromb sponsored & prepared by Evegine & Helen Sequeira, John Secundas, Lloyd D'Cunha, Joseph D'Souza & Arun D'Souza.

Moong by Lavina D'Sa, Jane D'Cunha, Flavia Menezes, Violet D’Costa and Zeelia D'Souza.

Rice sponsored by Wilbur D’Souza & Family.

Nove sponsored by Julie & Leslie Pereira, Sabrina & Hector Pinto.

Water by Coca-Cola - Ignatius Castelino, Mai Dubai - Rudolph Vaz, Courtesy Philomena Mendonca. 

The strength and power of any program lies on the shoulders of not only the organizers but mainly on the generosity of munificent benefactors.

Areej Vegetable Oils & Derivatives SAOC Courtesy Ophelia Lazarus, National Life & General Insurance Company SAOG Courtesy Cynthia Rebello and Talentz Enterprises LLC Courtesy Mildred & Balthazar.

Goody bag item sponsors were Nestle (Courtesy Teril Saldanha),, Lulu Hyper Market (Courtesy Prem Colaco), Areej Vegetable Oils & Derivatives (Courtesy Jessy Pereira), Al Mudhish Chips (Courtesy Brinston Noronha), Sweets of Oman (Courtesy George Andrade), Al Maya – Rajender (Courtesy Thomas D'Souza), Al Reef (Courtesy Thomas D'Souza), Atyab Bakery - Joseph Rafael (Courtesy Prem Colaco), Al Hamadi Trading (Courtesy Prakash D’Sa), Muscat Pharmacy -Pocari (Courtesy Nirmala Goveas), Juice by Stany Jovi Menezes, National Detergent (Courtesy Nirmala Goveas) andFalcon Trading (Courtesy Prakash D’Sa)

Prizes & gift sponsors were, Mohd. Abdullah Al Shuaily, Hafedh Sultan Al Amri, Rinoy Varghese, Flavian Pereira (Courtesy Teril Saldanha), V-Kool Enterprises (Courtesy Santosh D’Silva), Radisson Blu (Courtesy Teril Saldanha), MumtazMahal Restaurant (Courtesy Ophelia Lazarus), Golden Oryx Restaurant (Courtesy Ophelia Lazarus), Tulip Inn (Courtesy Prem Colaco), Nellikattu Restaurant by Joyson (Courtesy Prem Colaco), Ophelia Lazarus, Stany Jovin Menezes, Melanie & Cletus Tauro(Courtesy Philomena Mendonca), Celine & Ignatius Lobo, Lawrence FernandesandSantoshD’Silva

Other sponsors were, Cake byPrashant&Grena Dias, Modern Oman Bakery (Courtesy Philomena Mendonca), Bags for Goodys by Lulu Hypermarket (Courtesy Philomena Mendonca), Juice by Jawahar Pinto (Courtesy Philomena Mendonca) and Sadia chicken by Mr Nelson (Courtesy Prem Colaco).

“Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade.” - Haruki Murakami Likewise, the fragrant memories of “MonthiFest” at Ghala Church which marked the history can never fade from the hearts of all Mangalorean Community at Muscat who witnessed the event.


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  • Stany Jovin Menees, MQ / Oman.

    Sun, Sep 15 2019

    Very well organised program by GMCC . My heartiest Congratulations to President Sunil and all committe members for their selfless efforts . Pray Blessed Virgin Mary to bless all GMCC members, Sponsors & supportive volunteers to success this great Monti Fest.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Muscat: Colorful Monti Fest celebration at Ghala Parish, Oman

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