Detroit, Sep 10: Monthi Fest, the feast of the birth of Mother Mary is an important celebration for Konkani Catholics all over the world. It is a grand celebration serving as a thanksgiving festival, blessing the harvest of new crops, observed with festivities centered on the blessed grain of the harvest. This feast was celebrated with much aplomb at St Priscilla’s church, Detroit on Sunday September 7.
Fr Theo D'Cunha, parish priest of St Priscilla’s Church initiated the celebration of this feast in the Metro Detroit area six years ago, at St John Neumann church, where he was the assistant parish priest.
Fr Theo D’Cunha a palatine congregation priest, who hails from Mangalore vowed to celebrate this feast every year in the Metro Detroit area and this is the only parish in the state of Michigan to celebrate this feast.
Each year the gathering has increased in large numbers, which include Konkani Catholic families of Michigan area, local Americans and the Phillipino community. Under Fr Theo D’Cunha’s leadership, celebrating ‘Monthi fest’ in Detroit has brought many cheers to the Konkani Catholic families residing in the area and it has taken a very special relevance, as they long with nostalgia of connecting with their own families and parishes back home.
The ‘Monthi fest’ celebrations at St Priscilla’s Church began with a beautiful procession, leading the statue of Mother Mary into the Church. The congregation went in a procession to the church singing devotional hymns and carrying flowers. Children took pride in showering flowers to Our Lady.
Fr Theo D’Cunha in his homily explained the historic significance of the feast and urged members to spread its significance to other members so this feast could draw larger numbers each year. Following mass, the celebrations continued in the adjoining hall.
The local parishioners decorated the hall very beautifully and each parishioner brought a dish to share. Fr Theo welcomed everyone and invited all women named after Mother Mary to come forward to cut a special birthday cake marked “Happy Birthday Mother Mary”. Every member who attended the celebrations appreciated the traditions and culture associated with this feast.
As the migrant Konkani community continues to celebrate this feast in the Metro Detroit area, in whatever way they can, it has inspired and encouraged the participation of the local American and Phillipino community in large numbers, giving a new meaning to the celebration. This showed how special it was, rooted deep into their culture, no matter where each one came from. It also showed how much the Mother was loved all over the world.
The support from the guests renewed the spirit of happiness and inspired Fr Theo D’Cunha and all those who attended to carry on celebrating this feast in Metro Detroit for years to come.