London: One of the most audacious, well organised and well attended feast, the Nativity of Blessed Mother Mary (Monti Fest) was celebrated on 6 September 2015 at the All Saints Catholic Church Hall. Attended by the old and new members of SKA London and their guests, the celebrations started with a short procession to the hall carrying the new corn and the produce of the land as offering and thanksgiving to Mother Mary for her blessings to the community and the land. There was the customary offering of flowers to Mother Mary by the children.
Father Patrick of the Goan Chaplaincy initiated the services with the Mass. The Mass ritual was in traditional Konkani accompanied by the distinguished choir led by Olivia Saldanha, violin by Malcolm, keyboard by Lester and Elvira.
Followed by the Mass was the children’s activities and singing organised by Zeeta Rodrigues. It was a pleasure to hear children singing so beautifully and it seemed the roof being lifted up with their choruses.
Once again, Sheila Pais took the role of the MC and made sure that instructions and information were given in time for the activities to happen.
Then followed the traditional mouth watering buffet lunch with seven vegetable meals cooked in real Mangalorean style and served with rice sannas prepared in ‘thondor’ (not idlis), served on traditional banana leaves. The dessert was the popular ‘vorn’ with cashewnuts, sultanas and currents almost tasted like nectar from heaven.
The president thanked all those who took part in the celebrations not only by attending but by undertaking the various tasks to make the event such a successful one.
The disco music that followed livened up the event even further and the congregation could not hold down their feet from dancing until close down.
The president and the committee have expressed their hope of even bigger celebrations next year when the whole congregation will be able take part not only in prayers but also in fun activities.