Wednesday, September 13, 2006

AUSTRALIA: Monthi Fest at Melbourne - Denver's Personal Experience

Denver's Personal Experience of "Monthi Fest" in Melbourne with Mangalore Bishop

Konkani Catholics member in Australia, Denver Quadros (Kundapur), shares his experience of the "Monti Fest" celebrations at Melbourne, Australia which was enhanced by the presence of His Excellency, Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D'souza, Bishop of Mangalore, Karnataka, India.

Greetings from Australia!

Firstly, wishing all members a very Bhaagi Monthi Festh.

Finally I get to write on the Bishop's visit, as I have been recovering from flu for the past few days. Obviously, you could read the report on any Konkani website, but this is how I saw the whole thing, my personal experience.

The Mass of the Feast of Nativity was held on September 1st, at Sacred Heart Church, Kew - a suburb of Melbourne. The Eucharistic Celebration started at about 7 PM. Nearly 50 to 60 people attended it. "Sakkad Sangatha Melyaan..." was the opening hymn, the only "Nativity of Mary" hymn for the night. Probably because the occasion was held in such short notice. However, the notable performance easily belonged to the choir, one of the best I have ever heard. No flowers, no parade. Hope all that will happen in the coming years! All readings and most prayers were in English, but a few Konkani prayers were also said. Goes to show that people haven't been home in ages... like me!

It was a short mass, lasting about 40 minutes. Then a small get together inside the church itself. A few words from the Bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza, who was delighted that we in Melbourne have a full-fledged community, even before Sydney could have one! He praised our efforts and wished us all the best. He also spoke about the various undertakings back home and believed that all could be achieved soon. The best part though, was that everyone got to speak to the Bishop one-on-one.

My chance finally came. I reminded him that my brother and I carried his Head Dress and Sceptre as Altar Boys, when he made visits to Kundapura. He couldn't believe it. How time flies! This was about 10-12 years ago. He wished me all the best. I couldn't believe it myself. This is especially not possible back home, speaking to the Head of our Diocese very informally. Hence, my sincere thanks to Mr. Bert Naik, President of Manglorean Catholic Association of Victoria for organising an once-in-a-lifetime event.

Posted by Denver Alex Quadros, Australia

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