Bahrain, Sep 12: The Core Committee of Sacred Heart Church Konkani Community, organised with all pomp and fanfare the Feast of Nativity of our Lady at Sacred Heart Church premises on September, 9 in typical Mangalurean tradition. It began with the nine-day Novenas honouring Mother Mary and her role on earth spruced up with a touch of divinity by visiting priest, Fr Frolic Fernandes, OFM Cap. Little children dressed in their colourful best offered flowers at the mini- Altar of infant Mother Mary on all the nine days to the tune of hymns followed by daily Mass.
The church service with prayers in honour of our Lady, began with the traditional blessing of the new corn (paddy) crop specially flown in for the occasion from Mangaluru hinterland rice fields with apt prayers and hymns as well as floral tributes by little children singing “Sakkad Sangatha Maellyaan” who had gathered around and the “kanshies” distributed to the devotees at the colourfully decorated and bedecked out-door stage and then in procession into the Main Church for the Mass offering with the cascaded glass carriage/cradle of infant Mother Mary adding a touch of divine festive birthday nostalgia.
The offering of the concelebrated Mass began at 9.00am with Fr Frolic as the main concelebrant as well as Fr Xavier D’Souza, parish priest, Fr Darel Fernandes, Fr Charbel, Fr Amar, Fr Thomas, Fr Francis and visiting priests Fr Patric and Br Sean in the main church which was beautifully draped in glittering white and light blue of Mother Mary’s chaste divine colours.
Traditionally, as required for the occasion, apart from blessed corn, there were variety of fresh vegetables offered around the Altar, not to miss-out even the juicy sugarcane that was locally grown on the island! So much for the first fruitful harvest of the Season symbolically adding a touch of aura and aroma of the occasion, with the blessings from God Almighty for his revered flock!
At the beginning the “Monthi Fest Candles” were blessed and distributed to the Parishioners who came forward as “Murdthom” and “Pirjenth” on the auspicious occasion. The chief concelebrant Fr Frolic delivered the homily, explaining vividly how the devotion of Mother Mary leads to Jesus Christ.
After the Mass Service, the blessed “Noveim” was distributed to all as a prelude to the vegetarian “Noveim Jevann” meal, with cake and refreshments, leading to a short cultural programme at a packed, Our Lady of Arabia Auditorium.
The cultural programme was compered and capably anchored by the ever-so-cheerful Felcy Fernandes who welcomed the audience and introduced little youngsters with a prayer dance followed by a Cake cutting ceremony on stage together with the Sisters of the Sacred Heart School Convent and the clergy present. The Monthi Festh messages were delivered by parish priest Fr Xavier D’Souza, the spiritual director of Konkani Community Fr Darel Fernandes as well as visiting officiating Fr Frolic Fernandes.
The cultural programme on stage included a Fusion Dance by children, a traditional Konkani dance was performed by the seniors to the tune of Wilfy Rebimbus’s Konkani song “Jeeveethanthre Munnsha” to the tumultuous joy and applause of the audience.
A day-long cricket 7-a-side Monthi Fest Tournament was organised earlier by the Konkani Community Core Committee at the Indian Club premises on Friday, August 26 as a part of the celebrations. Winners of the Tournament were given prizes on the occasion. The highlight of the cultural program was a comical skit titled “Gharanthlo misther” was performed by Stany Dsouza and his “frolic” team.
The Monthi Festh Song “Ball-Moriye Geeth” composed by Naveen Mendonca and sung by Prinson Machado & team, premiered and released on 08 th September, 2022, to mark the celebrations was sung on stage for the audience by all the singers.
The vote of thanks was the prerogative of Sujay Pinto, an active Konkani Core Committee member and this was followed by a sumptuous vegetarian “Noveim Jevann” luncheon, together with buttermilk and jaggery-laced Payasam – all prepared by Mysore Bhavan Restaurant in typical Mangalorean taste and style for about two thousand people.
And so ended a memorable “Monthi Fest” on the isles of Bahrain at the Sacred Heart Church premises in the right spirit and ambience of mingling family members, well-wishers and their families.