Indian bishop visits Australia for first Mangalorean Mass

Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza of Mangalore, India, is visiting Melbourne this week to celebrate the traditional Nativity feast of Konkani-speaking Catholics in honour of Our Lady's birthday.

Daijiworld reports that Bishop D'Souza will join the Mangalorean Catholic Association of Victoria to celebrate the very first Mangalorean Konkani Mass for the community which will take place at Sacred Heart Church, Kew, on 1 September.

Mary's birthday, which the Church calendar celebrates on 8 September, is a traditional Mangalore feast that is also important to expatriate communities. More than 50 Mangalorean expatriate communities around the world celebrate the event each year.

"It is a great opportunity to meet the dear and near ones from our native places. That is how we feel the atmosphere of the 'Nativity' feast being celebrated back home. Of course this is very important for us because this is dedicated to Mother Mary and it is her birthday," says a Daijiworld reader wrote.

In 2001, the Bishop of Mangalore visited the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman for the feast. He made another trip in 2004 to visit Mangalorean expatriates in Doha and Kuwait.

"This feast gives us a special feeling. Though Easter and Christmas are of greater importance, here in the Gulf, the Nativity feast is celebrated with equal joy and fervour, " says another Daijiworld reader.

"The speciality of the feast back home is to share the new corn grown. We make every effort to bring the new corn here and share it with each other and consume. 'Novem' is the traditional occasion and we want to celebrate this with devotion"

Mangalore is a port city situated on the west coast of India on the Arabian Sea.

Australia: Bishop Aloysius to join Mangaloreans in Melbourne for Nativity (Daijiworld, 28/8/06)

Mangalorean Catholics worldwide gearing up for Nativity feast (Daijiworld, 14/8/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Konkani Catholics
Mangalore City

29 Aug 2006