Dubai, Sep 15: Celebrating Monthi Fest brings the spirit of togetherness and faith runs deep. Each year, the arrival of September brings with it a special occasion that unites the hearts of the faithful with nine days of Novena Prayer honouring the nativity of Mother Mary. The tradition celebrated for generations, handed down from one family to the next, is a day of profound significance where the Konkani community comes together to honour the birth of Blessed Mother Mary.
United Friends Loretto celebrated this joyous tradition with utmost faith and happiness on September 10 at Biriyani 2020 restaurant, located in Oud Metha, Dubai. The program commenced with the procession towards Mother Mary’s divine idol by hailing the hymn of Virgin Mary followed by the strewing of flowers and prayer ceremony.
The community requested the presence of three renowned dignitaries, namely Joseph Mathias, Arun D’Almeida, and Alwyn Pinto. The event host, Preethi Seema D’Souza welcomed the guests along with the community president Roshan Noronha, and treasurer Arun Barboza.
President Roshan Noronha welcomed the dignitaries, and everyone present to celebrate the feast. Lloyd Rodrigues, read the annual report prior to handing it over to the newly elected president of United Loretto Friends for the year 2023-2024, Rupesh Edward Pinto. The event also witnessed the core committee welcome 13 new faces to embolden ULF as part of their expansion plans.
The dignitaries addressed the audience and shared insightful messages. Joseph Mathias – MD of Merit Freight Systems, Dubai spoke about the Konkani culture, background and meaning of celebrating Monthi Fest. He encouraged the members to work towards the development of the Konkani Community in the UAE. Arun D’Almeida – RJ of Daijiworld Dubai also known as ‘Ghatagar’ to the Konkani community addressed the gathering regarding the importance of coming together to celebrate the feast, the uniqueness of Mangalore and recalled his memories tied to Loretto parish then and now. Alwyn Pinto – a well-known Konkani theatre artist, social worker, and stand-up comedian entertained everyone through his humour and jovial nature. His wit and humour brought a breath of fresh air to the gathering, and the laughter that echoed through the room was a testament to his art.
The community represented by Sylvia Noronha recognized the selfless work of Jessica David and felicitated her with an honorary certificate at the event. Jessica David, founder of Jingles, is a voluntary group that has raised funds by singing Christmas carols throughout the festive season in Dubai to help those in need, especially children with leukaemia and cancer. With the leadership of Jessica, Jingles has turned out to be a life saver for many in distress. United Loretto Friends truly considers her dedication worthy of the recognition.
The team of ULF expressed regards towards Loveline, the photographer for capturing the essence of the gathering and to DJ Arun D’Souza for assisting with soulful music. Vineetha and Venessa Menezes entertained the gathering with a beautiful Konkani folk dance coupled with a Konkani comedy skit enacted by budding actors Preetham, Nitesh, Vinod, and Alson.
Arun Barboza, the treasurer of United Loretto Friends conveyed his gratitude to the entire lot for working tirelessly and making the celebration a grand success.
The celebration ended with a delicious communal meal ‘Novem Jevan’, catered by Das Prakash catering. Laden with traditional dishes and prepared with love and care reminds the importance of coming together as one, just as the Holy Family did.
The Nativity Feast is not just about religious observance; it is about fostering connections and strengthening the ties that bind this close community. Children run and play, laughter fills the air, and elders share stories of feasts gone by, passing on the rich history of their cherished tradition. The vibrant decorations are taken down, but the memories and the sense of unity linger on, nurturing the soul of this remarkable community.
The Nativity Feast of Mother Mary is more than just a religious celebration; it's a testament to the enduring power of faith, tradition, and the bonds of a close-knit community. It is a day that emphasizes the importance of coming together, rejoicing in life's blessings, and cherishing the timeless values that hold their community together, year on year.