Abu Dhabi: Konkani Prayer Group, Abu Dhabi celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a unique manifestation of devotion and fellowship on Friday, 7th February 2020 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Abu Dhabi. The event was attended by about 800 members of the Konkani community of Abu Dhabi.
The evening began with a Thanksgiving Eucharistic. Fr. Stephen Lewis the Assistant Parish Priest at Sharjah presided over the mass along with Fr. Valerian Fernandes, The Chancellor of the Vicariate and Fr. Darick Paul D’Souza, the Spiritual Director of KPG.
The celebration continued with a well-organized social program. Mrs. Yvonne Vaz, members of the Core Team of KPG extended the welcome speech. The Music Ministry of KPG then rendered a Theme Song specially composed for the occasion. The members of the Core Team with the priests sliced the Anniversary Cake. Rev. Fr. Stephen Lewis in his address urged all the faithful to become not just members of the prayer group but become persons of prayer. Mr. Deral Menezes, The Coordinator, presented the annual report of the activities.
Competitions were held to mark the occasion namely Bible Quiz for adults and juniors; devotional Singing Competition for adults and children; and Speech competition on three select topics namely: 1) The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy, 2) Role of the laity in the Church, and 3) The Works of Pope Francis towards peace in the world. The winners of these competitions were given the awards of achievement. Ex-coordinators of KPG were presented with a memento for their contributions and service in past years. Two members of KPG then gave testimony of the blessings received through the intercession of the Intercessory Team.
Three young girls of KPG, Sarah Fernandes, Neola D’Souza and Pearl performed prayer dance. The ever young women of KPG, Chandini, Roshini, Yvonne, Sharmila, Janet, and Blandina rocked the floor by their fusion dance to the catchy tunes of folk songs and mando amid thunderous applauds of the audience. The highlight of the evening’s cultural program was the Drama written by Mr. Stany Dsouza Bahrain, “Vhodlimaincho Bhavadth”. The actors were the members of KPG. Mrs. Flavia Crasta in the lead role as Vhodlimai, Conrad D’Souza as Sekeram, Lancy D’Souza as Giru, Neil D’cunha as Cleaner, Blandina D’cunha, as Dina Sam D’Souza and Sarah Fernandes as grandchildren. The drama was directed by Rupert Vaz. The drama made everyone laugh to their guts nevertheless with a great moral for life about the power of prayer. The actors performed like professional artists in their respective roles. The whole program was beautifully knit together with the Masters of Ceremony Mr. Rupert Vaz and Mrs. Flavia Crasta.
Naveen Menezes, the Asst. Coordinator of KPG thanked all those instrumental in making this event a successful one. The evening ended with a sumptuous fellowship meal spread on the open grounds of the Church.
The present Core Team is headed by Deral Menezes (Coordinator), ably supported by Naveen Menezes (Asst. Coordinator & Music Ministry), Conrad D’Souza (Treasurer & Media), Rosy Martis (Outreach), Yvonne Vaz (Praise & Worship), Naveen D’Souza (Intercessory), Sedwin Mascarenhas (Service).
KPG was formed in the St. Joseph’s Church, Abu Dhabi in February 2000 under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Eugene Mattioli, then Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Cathedral and encouraged by Fr peter Cyprian Dsouza, who was then assistant Parish priest in Dubai and was coming to celebrate Konkani mass in Abu Dhabi once a month. The result of their encouragement and the initiative of seventeen founding members made the dawn of the Konkani Prayer group. Ever since it has grown from strength to strength and in number. Presently Fr. Darick Paul D’Souza guides the group as the Spiritual Director. The members meet each Friday evening for one hour of Praise & Worship and for sharing the Word of God. The members take an active part in the liturgical activities during the Konkani Mass celebrated bi-monthly at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. ‘It’s a great day for all Konkan’s. God’s people united by two things - Mother tongue and God’s love” commented a member which seemed to be the feeling of all.
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