Report & Pics by Sunita Fernandes
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai (SP)
Mumbai, Oct 3: The Konkani-speaking Catholic community of Kanjur Marg East celebrated its first ever Monti Fest on Thursday October 2, at the St Francis Xavier’s Church at 11 am.
The celebration began with the welcoming of guests by Nelson Mascarenhas. He also made a special mention of how the idea of celebrating Monti Fest was initiated by the late Elizabeth Fernandes and the late Hilda Dantis, who persuaded him to begin this traditional celebration in Kanjur. Sylvester D’Souza addressed the members about the importance of Monti Fest and also urged members to pray for peace to settle in Orissa, Karnataka and other states of India. This was followed by the holy eucharist, which was celebrated by Fr Vivian Pinto, assistant parish priest.
The children and adults gathered with their flower plates in a procession to offer the Infant Mary with fresh flowers along with traditional hymn ‘Sokkod Sangata Meliya,’ and ‘Moriek Hogolsiya’. The 'Novem,' which was brought by Valerian D’Silva was blessed and mixed with the vorn for all to enjoy.
Valerian D’Silva explained the cultural background and significance of Monti Fest and also shared his experience about the celebrations during his yester years in Mangalore. He also emphasized, that the feast day of the nativity of Our Lady reminds us of her richness of personality and a treasure of graces that helped her to intercede and pray for the redemption of mankind. "On this special day, her kindness and mercy surrounds us and we gain innumerable favours from her," he said. He was delighted, that the community has taken the initiative and encouraged them to carry out this celebration with the same zeal in the forthcoming years.
The delicious home-made traditional vegetarian food including 'vorn,' which was prepared by the community members under the guidance of Stella D’Souza, was served to all on plantain leaves.
Various games were conducted on the occasion, that entertained the audience, who wholeheartedly took part in them and enjoyed them thoroughly.
A vote of thanks was proposed by Valerian D’Silva to all those who gathered there and for making the day a very special one. He also gratefully acknowledged the efforts of all the members, Nelson Mascarenhas, Florine D’Mello, Sylvester D’Souza and others who took the initiatives to celebrate this feast as well as dedicating their precious time preparing the traditional 'noven jevan'. The celebration was concluded with the singing of the “laudate”.
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