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By Naveen Frank - Daijiworld News Network - Sharjah

Sharjah, Sep 8: The merciless sweltering heat did not deter over 2000 people, both adults and children head towards St. Michael’s Church, Sharjah to celebrate the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. ( Monti Fest)

The evening started with the angelic children dressed in their best, gathering around the statue of  Infant Mother Mary with plates full of colorful flower petals. Fr Fredrick Dsouza addressed the laity and when the hymn to our Lady was sung, there were showers of flowers from all corners, much to the excitement of the children and adults alike. The new corn was blessed.

Our Lady’s statue was then taken in procession into the church for a solemn High Mass. Fr Ani Xavier welcomed the gathering and also introduced the main celebrant Fr Fredrick Dsouza and concelebrant Fr Varghese, a visiting Missionary serving in Ghana.

The Liturgy was enlivened with a vibrant choir, a combination of Mangalorean and Goan talent. Choir Master Lancy Carlo was ably assisted by Ramiro along with a host of talented musicians and singers.

Immediately after the Holy Mass, Fr Ani Xavier, the Acting Parish Priest wished the gathering  on behalf of all the priests. Fr Freddie also wished the gathering and also blessed the Nove (New corn powdered and mixed with milk)

Lancy Carlo, while expressing his gratitude to many, who made the day possible, singled out 2 people in particular. Rudolf Dsouza, a recipient of the HIND RATNA award was felicitated. His wife Mrs Jacinta accepted a bouquet of flowers on his behalf.  Simon Rego, a dedicated lay minister in the parish was also honored.

 Rev Fr Freddie released the fourth  CD volume of Vincent Fernandes, known as MOGACHI LHARAN ( Waves of Love) a collection of romantic melodies. Part of the proceeds of the sale of the CD’s was pledged to be sent to sponsor the studies of scholastics.

A variety entertainment programme that followed was par excellence and superseded performances of previous years. An evening of young talent kept the audience entertained right until the end.  The programme started with little children dressed as angels in white sing a hymn to Mother Mary.

 The followed was a comic skit, an innovative ROCK BAND comedy song. A group of men who collectively have no name, enthused the audience with a Brass band playing popular Konkani tunes.  Youngsters exhibited their talent and energy with a beautiful MANDO dance.

 What stole the show were a beautifully enacted Tableau using sound, light, dance and music.  GIVE PEACE A CHANCE depicted typical life struggles of present day youngsters, their vulnerability to the vices of life , and a chance of hope from divine light. The theme was mixed by Sheela Carlo and choreographed by Roshan Fernandes and Michelle.

 All the parishioners were then treated to a delicious vegetarian dinner, thanks to the generosity of Alfred Dsouza.  Peter Dsouza, Coordinator of the Konkani community said that over 240 volunteers were involved in various duties.  Lancy Carlo also said that it has taken over three months of practice to put up this brilliant show.


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