Dubai: Jebel Ali Konkan Community celebrates Monthi Fest

News: Prashanth D’Souza
Pics: Ritesh Pinto

Jebel Ali (UAE), Sep 12: ’Monthi Fest’, a traditional feast celebrated largely by Mangalorean Catholics represents the birthday of our Blessed Mother Mary, coincides with festival of new harvest and is being celebrated all over the world every year with much fervour and enthusiasm.

In continuation of the tradition and with great devotion, zeal and grandeur, JAKC (Jebel Ali Konkani Community) celebrated ‘Monthi Fest’ (Nativity of the Blessed Mother Mary) on September 4 in St. Francis of Assisi Church, Jebel Ali.

The festive celebrations began on September 4 in the church portico with the showering of flowers by the little children and congregation in honor of Blessed Mother Mary to the accompaniment of the choir singing popular Marian hymns ‘Sakad Saangaataa Melyaan / Moriek Hogolsiyan’. After the flower veneration, the festooned church reverberated to the melodious singing of JAKC choir lead by Joyson D’Souza and team.

The Holy Eucharistic Mass in Konkani commenced with the procession accompanied by the main celebrant priest Fr Darick D’Souza (secretary to the Bishop), co-celebrant priest – Fr Antony P A (parish priest, St Francis of Assisi Church, Jebel Ali); guest priest; the Altar servers; Lay ministers; Lectors and parishioners.

Statue of Infant Mary and the new harvest – ‘paddy’ was brought to the altar in procession. At the beginning of the mass, paddy (Novem) symbolizing the new crop was blessed and prayed over in gratitude for a successful yield.

Fr Darick D’Souza, in his soul-stirring homily preached about the values and life of Blessed Mother Mary and stressed upon the importance of family life and role of Blessed Virgin Mary in our families. Since this feast is also known as the ‘family feast’, he called upon families to spend time together in prayer as a family. Large number of faithful took part in the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration accompanied by melodious singing by JAKC choir group which elevated the festive spirit.

As the Mass concluded, Fr Antony P A (parish priest, St Francis of Assisi Church, Jebel Ali), addressed the congregation and wished everyone a Happy Monthi Fest and said that he was happy to see such a large number of faithful attending the Eucharistic Celebration. He thanked the Konkani community for keeping the tradition alive.

Roydon Roche proposed the vote of thanks. He extended his gratitude to everyone who was responsible in making this event a great success. He also thanked the priests, church staff, altar servers, choir members, volunteers and all the sponsors.

Event was followed by a traditional yet scrumptious all vegetarian meal and delicious “Vorn” was served to all the people gathered, reviving the traditional ‘Novem Jevan’. The blessed paddy was distributed during the occasion.

In preparation for the feast, JAKC also organized 9-day Novena. It was good to see a large number of children attending the Novena’s and showering flowers to Mother Mary.

The whole event was well planned and managed by JAKC core committee members, ushers and volunteers. The arrangements were well appreciated by the people and evoked nostalgic memories of age-old traditional celebration of ‘Monthi Fest’ in native homeland. JAKC thanked everyone for attending the feast and making the event a success.





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