Sharjah, Sep 14: St Michaels Mangalorean Konkani Community (SMMKC) Sharjah celebrated Monthi Fest on September 10, under the guidance of spiritual director Fr Dennis Saldanha OFM Cap. The celebration was joyfully and prayerfully observed in the church premises.
The celebration was initiated with nine days’ novenas. The novenas included devotional hymns, Gospel readings, flower showering to infant Mother Mary by children and the Holy Eucharistic celebration. The novenas also included 3 days of spiritually nourishing talks by Fr Darrick D’Souza from St Paul’s Cathedral, Abu Dhabi.
To encourage enthusiastic and joyful participation, various competitions were held for children and families viz. singing, drawing, show and tell and elocution competition. A family photo collage competition was also held. Over 60 children and many families participated actively in these competitions. Their devotion and passion to observe Mother Mary’s nativity were unmatched.
The festal celebration was held on September 10. A large group of children across all ages offered flowers to Mother Mary in the church quadrangle and a sizeable gathering of about 2500 Konkani Christians participated in the Solemn High Eucharistic celebration.
The main celebrant was Fr Alwyn Dias, provincial of Karnataka Capuchins. The mass was concelebrated by Fr Dennis the spiritual director, Fr Savarimuthu parish priest, Fr Victor Fernandes from St Mary’s Church Dubai along with Fr Jose, Fr Victor Prakash from St Michaels church Sharjah. The service began with the traditional hymn “Sakkad Sangatha Melyan” and flowers were showered to Infant Mother Mary with the singing of ‘Moriyek Hogollsiyan’.
The new Khanshi (rice corn), newly harvested vegetables and statue of Infant Mary were brought into the church in a procession and blessed at the altar as the choir sung Laudate.
The Konkani choir led by Ancy Veigas and team was widely appreciated and applauded by the entire gathering. After the mass, competition winners were given their prizes. Tokens of appreciation were also given to various groups and individuals who provided stellar service to the Konkani community in 2022 followed by vote of thanks to authorities and various supporters. After the high Mass, khanshi and noven jevan food packets were distributed to the gathering as they dispersed.
Monthi Fest was a memorable one for Sharjah’s Konkani Catholic community members. The community beautifully and devotionally experienced one of Mangaluru’s most revered tradition.