On Saturday September 9, 2017, hundreds of Indians participated in the traditional Monti Fest celebrations in Tel Aviv.

monti fest 2017 1

monti fest 2017 2

Monti Fest is a major festival for the Catholics from the region of Mangalore Karnataka in India. This festival celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the blessing of Novem (new crops) on September 8 every year. It is a time to celebrate the harvest with the family and thank God for the fruits of the crops. This festival derives its name from the Monte Mariano Church at Farangipet in South Canara, Karnataka, India.

Mary is the protector and patroness of the Indian Chaplaincy in the Holy Land, and many of the Indian migrant workers have a special devotion to her. More than 2000 Indian Catholic migrants and pilgrims joined in the colorful Marian procession and festive holy Mass at Beit Dani in Tel Aviv. The main celebrant was Fr. Dharma Pichai OFM, and concelebrants were Fathers David M Neuhaus SJ, Rafic Nahra, Arturo Vasaturo OFM, Kevin Gonsalves OFM Cap, Mathew Coutinho SDB, Santhosh Lobo OFM cap, and Jose Kumar SCJ. Similar celebrations were also held in Jerusalem and Haifa.

After the mass, Father Tojy Jose OFM, the chaplain, expressed the community’s gratitude and appreciation to Father David Neuhaus for the valuable guidance and support he extended as the coordinator of the migrant chaplaincies and also he welcomed Father Rafic Nahra, the new coordinator.

monti fest 2017 3