By Konkani Friends Team:
Manchester-UK, September 14, 2008: The feast of Nativity was celebrated by Konkani Catholic Association (KCA) UK in Manchester on 13th September 2008 ,at the St. Kentigerns Church. The celebration began with the welcoming of the guests by Vinod Barboza followed by the holy mass celebrated by Rev.Fr.Alwyn Dias, Capuchin, as the main celebrant and Rev.Fr. Roshan Pinto, Diocese of Shimoga, as the concelebrant.
The first reading was done by Anitha Serro and Stany Rodrigues did the second. Rev. Fr. Roshan Pinto proclaimed the gospel. Rev.Fr.Alwyn Dias preached the homily. He said that he was pleased to see a large number of Konkani speaking families gathered collectively from near and far of Manchester, which reminded him of the nativity celebrations back home in India. Fr.Alwyn proclaimed: “Your coming together as one family in one faith, one hope and in love, is in itself, a new fruit of your labour”. He continued: "As we celebrate the feast of nativity of our blessed Mary, we need to carry the example of our heavenly Mother and her virtues back home as we return, and live day after day and radiate in our daily life faith, hope and love". He captured the hearts of the faithful by giving an image.."Undu hodha kondu hodha" and insisted that this celebration of the nativity of the Bessed Virgin Mary should re-energize our Christian living and our family lives". The prayer of the faithful was done by Ronald Lobo. The Eucharistic Celebration was elated by the choir team led by Stany Mendonca and the melodious music by Mukesh and Charles, which uplifted the spirit & joy of of the feast and the hearts of the congregation.
Ravi Pinto the president of KCA thanked the congregation who had come from various places. He also thanked Rev.Fr. Alwyn Dias and Rev. Fr. Roshan Pinto for celebrating the Eucharist. He continued thanking the Choir team for the time they had invested to practice and also Stany Mendonca for his notable efforts in training the choir. He expressed his gratitude to Mukesh and Charles for their musical accompaniment. Further he extended a cordial welcome to everyone and requested the gathering to gather at the hall adjacent to the church, for the continuation of the rest of the programme.
Soon after the mass Rev.Fr.Alwyn Dias and Rev.Fr. Roshan Pinto conducted the novena prayers to Blessed Mother Mary. Children venerated Mother Mary with the flowers. Our traditional hymns “Sakkad Sangatha Meliam” and “Morieak Hogolsieam” were sung, which were followed by the prayers and the blessing of the New Corns. Afterwhich all the participants gathered at the adjacent hall for the the family get-together.
Santosh Sequeira who compeered the entire function, commenced with a brief introduction of the feast and the importance of this feast for the Christian families. Ravi Pinto extended a warm welcome very specially to the guests who had come from Nottingham, Liverpool and other places. Alice Arhana one of our eldest member of the family, mixed the blessed corn with the milk and the “Novem” was shared to the gathering as a symbol of one family.
The cultural activity commenced with the prayer song led by young talents, Shaun Pinto, Pranish Kedia, Samuel Saldanha, Rodney Rodrigues, Raul Periera, Fravin Pinto and Melisha Barboza.This was followed by another song by MUKA (Mangalorean United Konkani Association) team members from Nottingham.
Raj Francis Pereira, the chief editor of www.Konkanifriends.com continued to express his gratitude to the KCA Team comprised of Ravi Pinto, Stany Rodrigues, Anitha Serrao, Diana Pinto, Lainet Pinto and Reshma Lobo who completed their term on this day and introduced the new office bearers of KCA to the assembly.
He thanked Ravi Pinto and his team members for their dedicated service for Konkani, and achieving the objectives of KCA during their tenure of two years. He introduced the new committee, comprised of (starting left to right) Reena Pinto as the Secretary, Santosh Sequeira as the Vice President, Santosh Pinto as the President, Ravi Pinto as the cultural secretary, Diana Lobo as the treasurer and Reshma Lobo as the Communication Co-Ordinator. He wished all success to the new team in all their projects and endeavors.
Soon after introducing the new KCA team to the people present, the new President of KCA Santosh Pinto addressed the assembly with full hope and enthusiasm, and requested everyone's continued support and fraternal co-operation.
The cultural function continued with a song sung by Stany Mendonca followed by the dance by Diana Lobo, Reena Pinto, Lainet Pinto, Nisha Kedia, Arshiya Pereira and Laveena Castelino. An other dance by Anitha D’silva, Fiona D’silva and Rachel D’silva followed the former one. With the conclusion of the dance an hour for lunch was given to the entire gathering to enjoy the delicious home made lunch prepared by Santhosh Pinto and family. Stany Rodrigues and family. Ronald Lobo and family. Martin Saldanha and family, Ravi Pinto and family.Cyril Pinto and family. Reshma and family, Santosh Sequiera and family, and Alwyn Buthello and Family. Rev.Fr.Roshan Pinto prayed the grace over the meals.
After the lunch the cultural programme resumed with a song sung by Stany Mendonca which was eventually followed by Housie Housie conducted by Ravi Pinto and Stany Rodrigues. Various prizes were kept and Janet Rodrigues from Nottingham, Rev.Fr. Alwyn Dias, Reshma Lobo from Carlisle, Reo Desa and Mark were proclaimed as the the winners.
The gathering was further entertained by the dynamic and jovial artists with their skits by John Fernandes, Deepak Alvares and Stany Sequiera, Rony Lobo, Arshiya Peria and Stany Rodrigues. The dances from Sonal Mendonca, Rihana Butello further captured the hearts of the people.
The vote of thanks was expressed by the new president of KCA Santosh Pinto. He thanked every one, who supported and contributed to make the event a grand success. He gratefully expressed his special thanks to Brazil Gomes- Bristol and Richard Passan–Newcastle for donating the flowers, Richard D’silva–Birmingham for his donation towards the soft drinks. Vinod Barboza– Manchester, Keneth D’sa–Wales, Cyril Pinto–Warrington, Martin Saldanha- Manchester, Pramod Kedia and Ajimol Pradeep of Manchester for their continued and precious support.
Around 140 people were present for the "Monthi Festh Function."
The climax of the nativity celebration was hosted by our tiny talented Melisha Barboza who wonderfully sang “Arga Thuka Somia....Dhaia......Sasnachea Sansak”, which was well appreciated by the whole gathering, as thanksgiving hymn for God’s wonderful gifts in our Christian families.
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Edited & Published By Raj Francis Pereira