September 3, 2017
Monti Saibinishi Fest, a festival deeply rooted in history and tradition, for the catholic community of Mangalore, to commemorate the Nativity of the Blessed Mother Mary was celebrated on Sunday, September 3, 2017, at the premises of Kanara Catholic Association, Mumbai. Monti Saibinishi Fest also signifies the harvest festival for the catholic community of Mangalore, and is celebrated with much devotion and grandeur, and invokes blessing of Novem (new crops) which are offered as a symbolic gesture of thanksgiving for all the blessings of the Blessed Mother Mary.
The premises at Kanara Catholic Association, with its multitude of fruit bearing trees and varied green plantations; the entrance adorned with banana and sugarcane stalks; the grotto dedicated to the Blessed Mother Mary decorated with fresh flowers; stalks of freshly harvested rice paddy and sugarcane; mogras for womenfolk to adorn their hair; baskets of fresh flower petals, etc., was reminiscent of being in Kodial on a feast day.
The programme began with Konkani hymns, courtesy Wilfred Fernandes and Choir, and a procession led by children, Father Rueben Tellis, and Members of the Managing Council and Sub-Committees, carrying the statue of the Blessed Mother Mary, stalks of freshly harvested rice paddy and sugarcane, and baskets of flower petals into the Ground Floor Hall, prior to the prayer service in honour of the Nativity Feast, and the harvest festival of Mangalore.
Ms. Clara Menezes (Vice-President of KCA, Mumbai) led the prayer service with an opening prayer in Konkani. Father Rueben Tellis, in his interactive homily with those in attendance, delved into their experience / understanding of the Monti Saibinishi Fest; the relevance behind offering Novem (new crops) to the Blessed Mother Mary; and emphasized the purpose this festival fosters in re-enforcing the institution of family and societal bonding, in this ever increasing world of nuclear families.
The prayer service with melodious hymns in Konkani, reminisced the nostalgia connected with our families and parishes back home, and it was a visual treat to watch children and adults sprinkle flowers on the statue of the Blessed Mother Mary. Father Rueben Tellis blessed the stalks of freshly harvested rice paddy and sugarcane, and distributed them amongst all those in attendance.
At the conclusion of the prayer service, the gathering in a procession led by children, made their way out into the compound towards the grotto, built for Our Blessed Mother Mary. Father Rueben Tellis blessed and inaugurated the newly built grotto, and the gathering recited in unison a solemn pray in honour of Our Lady, and sprinkled flowers on the grotto as devotion of their love to the Heavenly Mother.
The gathering then moved to the Second Floor Hall for the cultural programme, which was nicely woven with traditional music and dance of Mangalore, a befitting way to continue with the celebrations of the feast day. The blessed Novem (new crop) crushed and mixed with milk was served, in the spirit of tradition, to the gathering. The cultural programme was well conducted by the effervescent MC, Rolin Furtado, who kept the gathering entertained with her lively and interactive compering. Games and other cultural activities were organized for both children and adults to offer enjoyable moments to one and all, and spot gifts were given away as prizes.
Amidst the cultural programme, the latest issue of Amchi Khobor, i.e., Vol. 2, Issue No. 3, with its theme based on ‘Education’, (which is an important Aim and Objective of the KCA Charter) was released by Prof. Merlin D’Sa, Municipal Corporator, Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation.
The most awaited highlight of Monti Saibinishi Fest, the ‘Novem Jevan’ – sumptuous and traditional vegetarian cuisine of Mangalore, symbolic of the new harvest, prepared by David Caterers, was served on banana leaf (with coconut fish curry for added variety), was relished by Members, their families, friends, and children. At the end of the celebration, Members, their families, and friends each received a take away gift – a bottle of Rio Spritzer, courtesy Rio Wines, and Life Members of Kanara Catholic Association, Mr. Ashwin Rodrigues.
The Cultural and Recreation Team profoundly expresses its appreciation and wishes to thank all those for making Monti Saibinishi Fest a heartwarming and memorable celebration at Kanara Catholic Association, Mumbai. We thank Our Blessed Mother Mary for bringing us all together in a spirit of affection and communal harmony, and enable us to spread the essence of this unique family festival amongst our catholic community of Mangalore.
Cultural and Recreation Team