Muscat, Oman – September 14, 2023 – The birth of Mother Mary, fondly known as “Monthi Saibinnichem Festh,” is a cherished celebration among the Konkani community of Mangaluru. This global festivity is an occasion for Konkani families to come together, reminiscing and honoring the Nativity feast with great pomp and grandeur.
In line with the commitment to preserving the rich culture and heritage of Mangaluru, the Ghala Mangalorean Catholic Community (GMCC) in Muscat, Oman, celebrated the Monthi Fest with profound devotion on Saturday, September 9th, at The Holy Spirit Church, Ghala.
The high mass was guided by the Konkani Spiritual Director and Parish Priest of Ruwi, Rev. Fr. Stephen Lewis OFM Cap, in collaboration with Parish Priest of Ghala, Fr. George Vadukutt, and Fr. Catalino Miranda. The main celebrant for the occasion was Fr. Joachim D’Souza, OFM Cap, currently serving as the superior of ASHA KIRAN de-addiction center in Heroor, Brahmavar, under the Provincial of Karnataka Capuchins.
The Monthi Fest celebration commenced with a nine-day Novena from August 30th to September 7th. Konkani community members, along with children, participated wholeheartedly, coming from near and far, and offering fresh flowers to Mother Mary. The Novena sessions featured devotional hymns, Gospel readings, spiritual homilies, and blessed dinners for the faithful, enriching the spiritual experience.
GMCC has been marking the Nativity feast every year by sharing new corn and blessing the fruits of people’s labor through the annual ‘Novem Jevann.’
The festal service commenced with a Rosary at the Grotto, followed by a small procession led by Stino and Sonal Pinto, carrying the ‘banbino,’ while flowers were showered upon Infant Mother Mary to the hymn ‘Moriyek Hogollsiyan.’ Children of all ages participated by offering flowers to Mother Mary in the church Grotto, and a significant gathering joined in the Solemn High Eucharistic celebration. The newly harvested ‘Khanshi’ (rice corn) was blessed at the Mother Mary Grotto.
The melodious choir was an integral part of the celebration, enhancing the devotion of the congregation. The choir team, consisting of talented members, filled the church with divine melodies.
After the high Mass, ‘khanshi’ (paddy corn) and ‘Novem jevann’ were offered to the community, and goody bags were distributed to children. A special highlight of this year’s celebration was the distribution of ‘kobu’ (sugarcane), specially harvested for the feast day, following a cherished tradition.
The readings and prayers during the celebration engaged the congregation’s spiritual enthusiasm, creating a meaningful and memorable experience for all.
GMCC, represented by its dedicated executive committee members, plays a vital role in organizing and conducting the Monthi Fest celebration. Their names and respective positions are as follows:
- Prem Colaco: President
- Ophelia Lazarus: Vice President – Finance
- Praveen Serra: Vice President – Cultural
- Wilson Kinnigoli: General Secretary
- Stino Pinto: Finance Secretary
- Loy Castelino: Cultural Secretary
- Alex Noronha: Internal Auditor
- Suneel Menezes: Sports Secretary
- Lloyd D’Cunha: Community Services Secretary
- Meera Saldanha: Spiritual & Choir Secretary
- Selwin Lewis: Techno-Support Secretary
The ‘Novem Jevann’ was prepared by a dedicated team of individuals and families who contributed to making the celebration a success.
The Monthi Fest, celebrated with fervor and devotion, brought the Konkani Catholic community in Ghala closer to one of Mangaluru’s most cherished traditions, even while far away from their homeland.
The event was made possible with the support of various sponsors and contributors who played essential roles in bringing the celebration to life. Their generous contributions ensured a memorable Monthi Fest for the community.
This celebration is a testament to the enduring spirit of Mangalorean culture and traditions, celebrated with utmost devotion and enthusiasm by the Ghala Mangalorean Catholic Community in Muscat, Oman.