Report: Fr. Mervin J. Noronha, SVD
Photoes: George and Anaida

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June 17th, 2012, will go down as a memorable day in the history of the small but vibrant Konkani Catholic community living in Nairobi. The joyful tears and great piety on the faces of everyone gathered around the grotto was its testimony as the magnificent statue of Mother Mary, made at Simon & Co Mangalore,  was unveiled at the shrine of our lady of Consolata, Nairobi.  The 3000 and odd congregation that gathered round the grotto burst into singing, dancing and ululation as the 9 feet tall statue stood before their eyes with amazing grandeur. 

When the Mangalorean and Karwar Catholic community floated the idea to donate a statue of our Lady Consolata to the newly proposed Prayer Garden and Grotto, various  options were discussed in sourcing the statue, prominent being Italy, Kenya and India. But when the costs were compared, India became the obvious choice. Moreover the members felt that it would help them to relate to our Mother more closely and inspire our future generation if the statue came from our Motherland. Basil Serrao, a Mangalorean entrepreneur and the vice chairman of the Consolata parish council followed up with the idea of getting the statue from Mangalore. It was available at half the cost of the Italian quotation and without compromising on quality. Meanwhile the Konkani Catholics took the lead to raise the entire sum and get the statue to Nairobi.

A dream come true, Mother Mary is now standing tall, radiating her beauty, grandeur and protection to all who visit the place and it is a great tribute to the tremendous love and devotion the Mangaloreans have for our Heavenly Mother. Mother Mary has already shown her miraculous power along her long and tedious journey from Mangalore to Nairobi. The first was the immediate clearance of the huge consignment by the customs authorities in Bangalore without any hassle. In the context of increasing cases of smuggling out antiques of value in the name of religious articles, the Indian government of late is very strict on export shipments. But Mother’s statue was cleared without much scrutiny. Secondly, the company that did the packaging and forwarding pardoned the entire cost of the job. Thirdly the customs in Nairobi let the Mother in without any hitch and at a good discount.

Mangalorean women faithful who stood at the feet of Mary couldn’t take their gaze away from her face and one could see even tears of joy welling up in many eyes. It was a vivid testimony of the deep love the faithful have for our Mama Maria and a sense of deep satisfaction at the initiative they took as a community to give expression to their faith in concrete action. As Michael, one of the members said, ‘Mother Mary is very dear to all of us and the hymns we sing in her honour nourish our faith.’ Spreading the Devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our mother is one way of making the community’s presence felt among the local people. And 17th June has done just that.


Comments on this Article
Roshni Crasto, Santhekatte Udupi Thu, June-21-2012, 5:26
Congrats for being blessed with privileges on the occasion of installation of a great statue of Mary by Mangalorean and Karwar community in Nairobi. It is nice to see you all having conglomerate in a distant land for the devotional act. Nice to see pictures of Fr Morvin Basil Veeru family Anaida, Alida, Romita, Molly aunt Ashley, Alisha, Sequira Family and all those present at church and at Basil uncles residence.
Peter, India Wed, June-20-2012, 12:51
Simon Co., a age old name familiar almost in every church of Canara region. They do a fantastic work , let god bless all who are involved in, even who read this article.
Rajesh, Malpe Wed, June-20-2012, 11:49
Congratulation to all the Mangaloreians and the locals too..
george menezes, gantalkatte Wed, June-20-2012, 8:50
It was a well organiszed and all credit goes to the mangaloreans who worked hard behind this task. iam very lucky to have witnessed and part of this celebration. may mama mary bles us all
Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/Mumbai Wed, June-20-2012, 7:01
I appreciate our Mangaloreians who will work in any corner of the world for the family……….….
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