Monti Fest Celebrations in Israel
Israel: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary popularly celebrated as Monti fest in Coastal Karnataka is one of the biggest feasts celebrated with great fervor and solemnity by the Konkani speaking community worldwide and like every year, this year too the celebration was grand in Israel. Thousands of Konkani speaking people from the west coast of India working in Israel gathered together and celebrated Monti fest with great joy and enthusiasm with a grand procession and Solemn Festive Mass on 10th September which was preceded by 9 days novena.
The scorching heat did not deter the people from turning out to participate in the grand celebrations which started with Mother Mary’s statue being carried in a solemn procession accompanied by the brass band from St Peter’s church Jaffa to Terra Santa School Ground where the Holy Eucharistic celebration was to begin.
Fr Evan Gomes SVD from Divine Call Centre Mulki who was invited to Israel to preach a retreat and to conduct a marriage preparatory course celebrated the solemn festive mass which was concelebrated by five other priests and three religious brothers.
The strong choir rose to the occasion to make the day’s liturgy more prayerful and exuberant.The celebrant Fr Evan in his homily highlighted the significant role played by Mother Mary in the salvation history. He spoke about Love and said that it’s easy to fall in love but hard to remain in committed love and cited that Mother Mary was the best example of committed love. He further stated that one who loves God will obey God’s commandments and thus if we love God then we are called to follow God’s commandments. He exhorted the congregation to emulate Mother Mary.
Those who took part in the whole celebration were delighted to see the vibrant congregation and the excellent celebration. Fr Toji OFM in charge of Indian Chaplaincy Holy land who had organised the entire celebrations thanked everyone for their support. The day’s celebrations continued with refreshments for all who were present.