Following the age old tradition of “Monti Fest” held every year on the occasion of the birthday of our beloved Mother Mary in the lush-green Mangalore and surrounding parishes of South Kanara, St. Mary’s Konkan Community (SMKC) Dubai also celebrated the Nativity Feast on Friday, 7th September 2007 in a grand style.
The concelebrated solemn High Mass started at 10.00 AM with Fr. Freddie D’souza being the main celebrant. The procession started from the main church entrance with Altar servers followed by the new crop (Novem) and Baby Mary’s statue. Fr. Freddie in his homily spoke on Mother Mary. Liturgy was well conducted and the LCD display of readings and hymns made the liturgy more meaningful.
As the symbol of new harvest, fresh fruits and vegetables were offered during the Mass. Soon after the Mass, flower festival ceremony was arranged in front of the Grotto in the church compound which became very meaningful with singing of “Sakkad sangatha melya” and “ Morie Hogolsiyam”. The Konkani Choir, with soothing hymns specially arranged and conducted under the leadership of Jossy, elevated the spirit and solemnity of the feast. Fr. Peter P.M. parish priest of Dubai appreciated the enthusiasm and festive spirit shown by Konkan Community and thanked them for their great support and contribution to the parish.
Sweets, cakes and cool drinks were provided to all children who took part in flower festival. Blessed corn packed in transparent pouches was distributed after the Mass at various exit points.
The church was over packed and many stood outside the church in the sweltering heat and all in all more than 5000 people took part in the celebration.
To keep up the tradition, “Novem Jevan” was served sharp at 12.00 noon. More than 1000 people took part in the “Novem Jevan” consisting of 7 types of vegetables and vorn.
The whole ceremony was conducted under the leadership of St. Mary’s Konkan Community (SMKC) Dubai as is the case in the past years. The initiative and efforts taken by SMKC to keep up the Mangalorean tradition and culture is praiseworthy.
Reported by -- Urban Sequeira
Potographs by - Simon D'souza/ Paul Colaco
News and Photograph upload by- Edwin Mathias