by Chrisma Pereira
NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, OCTOBER 9, 2014: For the past four months, the parishioners of St Therese Parish have been preparing for this wonderful celebration – the first Carnival in the history of the Parish. The Fete was declared "open" on September 28, 2014 at 9 a.m by Fr. Joy, the Assistant Parish Priest and the festivities began. The indoor auditorium hosted cultural programmes by the various communities of the Parish – from skits to dances, sing-a-along to perfectly choreographed sound and light show.
The talented parishioners regaled one and all with their lively programmes from India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The jam session for the youth was completely sold out as Shaun and his band rocked the auditorium with their lively music. The indoor MC's did a stellar job of keeping the audience engaged and entertained.
All through the programme, one couldn't ignore the wafting aromas from the rear end of the auditorium where the Parish's diverse culinary delights were located. Lip smacking and delectable treats from India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines kept the visitors coming back for more. The day began with a breakfast cuisine which transformed into lunch time meals and finally into tea time snacks. There was something for everyone including cotton candy, popcorn and ice-creams. All these treats were sponsored by the parishioners.
For those who preferred the outdoors, there were innovative games to test their skills and their luck. The outdoor MC's kept everyone excited, as birthdays and anniversaries were celebrated and singing talents were showcased. In the evening, when the sun had set and the courtyard cooled down, it was heart-warming to see the parishioners mingle together, families and long lost friends were re-acquainted as visitors stopped by for a visit. "I had more fun because I brought some of my friends from school. I wish my mum would have let me stay longer" said Savio D'costa who was sad to leave the Fete grounds and head back home to study.
This carnival with a cause brought all the parishioners together – the funds were being earmarked for the Bahrain Cathedral and everyone had come out to support the cause. Marina D'souza, coordinator of the Reception Committee remarked, "Seeing the smooth and successful culmination of this fete is testimony to the reading of the day from 1 Corinthians 'Be completely united, with only one thought and one purpose'…we all came together as one united parish from diverse backgrounds to raise funds for the Bahrain Cathedral". The stream of more than three thousand peaceful yet lively visitors throughout the day couldn't have expressed it better.
The grand finale at the end of the day was a cultural presentation by the Catechists showcasing folk dance and drama from Goa, Mangalore and Mumbai. It had everyone singing along and cheering, reminiscing scenes from back home. Then, Fr. Lionel Braganza, the chief guest said a few encouraging words before the much-awaited Raffle draw was announced. The crowd held their breath as the winners were picked and the prizes were announced. Finally, the parish priest concluded the event at 9:30 p.m, by thanking all the organizers for their hard work and commitment.