“MONTHI FEST” CELEBRATIONS IN MISSISSAUGA CANADA
UNDER THE CELEBRANT ARCH-BISHOP EMERITUS LAWRENCE SALDANHA
Aug 31, 2013: This year, the Konkani community in Mississauga and surrounding areas will be privileged to celebrate their most cherished “Monthi Fest” with Most Reverend Lawrence John Saldanha, Arch-Bishop Emeritus of Lahore of Mangalore origin. As informed by Rev. Fr. Edwin D’Souza, the former Parish Priest of Saints Martha and Mary Church, Mississauga, Canada who is also the Spiritual Director of the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC), the Arch-Bishop has shown great interest in participating in the Monthi Fest celebration celebrated by the Konkani Community across the globe with pomp & glory. This will be an additional joy to the Konkani congregation in Canada who want to celebrate their dear Mother Mary’s birthday in a "Traditional Style”!
Most Reverend Lawrence John Saldanha
Lawrence John Saldanha was born in Mangalore, India on 12th June 1936. He had his priestly training at the Christ the King Seminary in Karachi and was ordained a priest in Lahore, Pakistan on Jan 16, 1960. He also earned a doctorate in Systematic Theology from Rome based Pontifical Urbaniana University. He participated in the Second Vatican Council. After serving in different parishes in Lahore Fr.Saldanha served as a Rector of Christ the King Seminary in Karachi from 1974-79. From 1986-98 he was head of the Social Communications Commission and WAVE Studio, the Church’s National Audiovisual Centre in Lahore. He also served as the President of the Federation of Asian Bishop’s Conference. Later as he was serving as an Associate Pastor of Precious Blood Church in Toronto, Canada he was recalled to serve the Church in Pakistan. On April 24, 2001 he was appointed Arch-Bishop of Lahore by Pope John Paul II and he was great Sheppard for His flock until his retirement on April 07, 2011.
The Monthi Fest has a tremendous significance to the Catholic community residing in Canada, as it celebrates not only the birthday of the mother of Jesus Christ but also the new harvest. Through this solemn yet festive event, we demonstrate unity and solidarity in our Catholic faith, our rich ethnic heritage and work towards enriching our children’s understanding and love of Konkani Culture.
The Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) to whom this pioneer venture is attributed to, is organizing the event on Sunday, September 08, 2013 at the St. Maximilian Kolbe Church followed by a cultural program at John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre in Mississauga. Children are encouraged to bring flowers at 3.30 pm to offer to our Mother Mary and sweets will be distributed to the participants. A Konkani High Mass will be celebrated by over 10 priests including the Arch-Bishop Lawrence Saldanha. Renowned Konkani singers in Canada will join the angelic choir under the dynamic leadership of acclaimed musician Merlyn Rodrigues.
Manohar Pais Lydia Rebello
A power-packed cultural program has been organized to satisfy the clamoring demands of the community who soak up the traditional Konkani skit, songs and dances like a sponge to water. The grand component of the cultural program is a Spiritual Tableau called “Amchea morie mayechi pathyenni” (Our Blessed Virgin Mary’s Faith) written and directed by renowned Konkani artiste Manohar Pais followed by melodious singing in Konkani by the youth who went through a magnificent training by none other than renowned Konkani Singer Sonia Monteiro. A traditional dance choreographed by renowned choreographer Lydia Rebello will be an added attraction to regale the audience. Renowned comedians of Santhu-Monthu fame Santosh D’Souza and Rony Monteiro are expected to enthrall the spectators with their rib-tickling jokes.
Ronald Fernandes, the incumbent president of MAC, informed Daijiworld that the preparations are going on in full swing and that there will be a big turnout this year. He urged the Konkani community residing in Mississauga and surrounding areas not to miss this golden opportunity and to attend in large numbers to celebrate our Blessed Virgin Mother’s birthday celebration. An authentic sumptuous vegetarian Mangalorean dinner “Novem Jevonn” catered by Canada's one and only "Konkan Delite" will be served at the Monthi Fest. He also informed that only a few tickets are available and requested to buy entry passes at the earliest to avoid disappointment.
Konkani World’s renowned compere Manohar Pais will be the M.C. for this great event. Undoubtedly this will be a unique and memorable Konkani event for Konkani Diaspora residing in Canada!