London Sept 08 (BAN/SL) As we approach the week of Monti Fest in a year which has taken the world by storm and with a pandemic the hope within prayer is still alive. Today it is the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic’s especially the South Asian Catholic communities will be celebrating with prayer and feast all over the world today.

British Konkani Community of UK celebrated 24th year Monti Fest on Sunday 6th September with a live stream of Mass in London broadcasted throughout the world. Thousands of people from around the world tuned into the live stream. Thousands of comments were received during the live Mass from all corners of the world and from our homeland with people being thankful to be able to join the live Mass.

Celebrated on the 8th September every year Monti Fest is a major Catholic festival held by the Konkani community of south-western India. This festival celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and in the Mangalorean Catholic community involves blessing of Novem.

It is celebrated around the world and each year the Lobo Family, Mr and Mrs Lobo celebrate with a gathering of around 400-500 people with a Mass followed by the traditional 8 vegetarian dishes and entertainment.

During these 24 years, on invitation from the Lobo family the then Bishop of Mangalore Very Rev. Aloysius Paul D’Souza celebrated this festive Mass twice on the 10th and 20th anniversary in London.

As we are all living through this pandemic, we have found news ways to celebrate and follow specific government rules to keep ourselves, our families and others safe.

On Sunday 6th September adhering to UK COVID-19 regulations 30 people from the British Konkani community attended a Mass at St Patrick’s Church Neasden. St. Patrick’s Church was safely able to follow collective acts of worship.

Organised by the British Konkani community prayer group, the Mass was able to comply with the government’s public health and social distancing requirements. All members of the community had followed COVID-19 regulations in order to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control. The government has announced that face coverings have to be worn in places of worship with social distancing and with this in mind all worshippers wore face coverings.

Thirty people from the British Konkani community had attended the Mass which was in Konkani at St Patrick’s Church Neasden.

On Behalf of the British Konkani Community of UK Mr and Mrs Lobo convey their sincere thanks to all those involved in keeping this traditional family feast alive in London with a special thanks to the prayer group for organising the Mass and St. Patrick’s Church.

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