Monti Fest celebrations in Nairobi
Kenya: For the fourth year in succession, Members of Kanara Konkani Catholics of Nairobi (KKCN), with support from Consolata Shrine, celebrated Monti Fest with fervor on Saturday, September 10, 2016, at Consolata Shrine, Nairobi.
The Novena in preparation for the event held on nine consecutive Saturday’s with Candle lit Rosary, showering of flowers and reflection at the Grotto, where 2.8 Mts. A Tall statue of our Lady of Consolata, manufactured in in Mangalore, donated by KKCN members is installed.
During Novena for nine Saturdays, various titles of Our Lady were reflected upon like Our Lay of Lujan, Guadalupe, Fatima, Mount Carmel, Our Lady of the way, Our Lady of Rosary etc. and were assisted in this by the various religious community, including Apostolic Carmel Sisters.
First Saturday Novena was graced by Ambassador of Argentina, as on the same day they were celebrating 200 years of their independence and She appreciated & congratulated the community for the very special way in which we honour our Mother by showering flowers etc.
Feast day Holy Mass was celebrated on Saturday, September 10,2016 at 3 PM at the Grotto, led by Fr Anto Thekkuden CMI, assisted by Fr Paul of Missionaries of Poor and Fr Evans, Asst. Parish Priest, Consolata Shrine. More than 150 faithful, majority of Kenyan faithful participated in the Mass, signifying an increase in popularity of the event, considering the presence of only about 30 people in the year 2013. Maize corn was distributed to families after blessing them. A Kenyan faithful Dorina, surprised everyone by singing the Hymn “Sokkod sangatha..” both in Konkani and its translated version in Kiswahili.
(Youtube video link of the singing https://youtu.be/9mOAMlovbkk)
Our brothers and sisters from Mangalore, living in Nairobi of every faith were invited to join for a celebratory dinner at Consolata Shrine & over 160 people gathered for a celebration, first of its kind in Kenya.
Michael Sequeira, (Gurkaraam) Chairman of KKCN, in his message gave a brief on Monti Fest, The Harvest Festival linking to Birthday of Mary and meaning of Family Feast and brotherhood linked to culture and tradition irrespective of our different faith.
Ramesh Kotian, on behalf of Mangalorean Cultural association in his address, while thanking KKCN, recalled all the festivities and celebration associated with what he called as “September 8 Feast” and how this feast is also associated with harvest festival celebrated by Mangalorean’s as one family.
Everyone once again joined in singing Happy Birthday to our Mother and also showering flowers in Church Hall.
Fr Evans, Asst. Parish Priest thanked KKCN and Mangalorean members for celebrating the event at Consolata Shrine.
During the celebration, KKCN also honoured and expressed gratitude to members who supported the Diocese of Mangalore Africa Mission, in response to an invitation by Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza Bishop of Mangalore to participate in their Missionary efforts, when he was felicitated during his visit to Nairobi in 2013.
Ladies from KKCN together with Ashok Bhanday of Chowpaty Restaurant prepared more than seven traditional & delicious vegetarian dishes with VORN, treating everyone with a sumptuous meal.
Wilson D’Souza, Secretary of KKCN compered the evening programme.
By Basil Serrao