Rons Bantwal

Pune, Sep 16: Mangalorean Catholic Association (MCA) Pune celebrated Monthi Fest on September 10 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Pune.

The programme commenced with Fr Baptist Pais blessing the new sheaves of paddy grain (Novem). Traditional hymns ‘Sakkad Sangatha Melyan’, ‘Moriyek Hogolsiyan’ resounded joyfully as the children and elders offered flowers to ‘Monthi Mai’. The congregation then proceeded in a devout procession to the church followed by a solemn mass in Konkani. The main celebrants were Fr Abraham D’Souza, Fr Baptist Pais and Fr Naveen Rebello.

The homily delivered by Fr Naveen, was thought provoking; the main message being that the ‘Novem Jevann’ should lead to ‘Novem Jeevan’. It particularly tugged at the heart strings as he spoke about a mother’s love and the innumerable sacrifices that she makes for the sake of her children and family.

The church resonated with melodious singing by the MCA Konkani choir along with the Brothers of De Nobili College and Papal Seminary. Wilma Mendonca thanked the clergy and the congregation for their devout participation in the Eucharistic service.

This was followed by a cultural programme at the Eichstat Hall. The programme started with a procession led by Daisy Lobo carrying Bambina Mary’s statue, followed by the couple dressed in traditional attire, the chief guest, guests of honour and the MCA president Patrick D’Souza, secretary Edna Rodricks and treasurer Linetta Rodrigues.

Stella and Philip Lobo welcomed the guests in the Mangalorean traditional way with 'Panpod' and 'Udak' (beetel leaf and water).

MCA was blessed to have the Bishop Emeritus of Pune, Fr Valerian D’Souza at the function who began the function with a special invocation and blessing on the congregation.

Judith Menezes welcomed the chief guest, Francis Oliveira Padukone, and the other guests of honour Fr Abraham D’Souza, Fr Baptist Pais and Fr Wilfred Fernandes.

The guests of honour were presented with saplings. It was an honour to have Fr Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Pune join the guests on stage. He appreciated the efforts taken by MCA in bringing all families together. He delivered a powerful message that the need of the hour was for the Konkani community to unite together to fight against the atrocities against the minorities.

Patrick D’Souza addressed the gathering with special emphasis on the vision and mission of MCA and thanked the guests. Francis Oliveira Padukone delivered a magnetic speech.

People who had contributed to the growth of MCA were felicitated. Philip Lobo, Carmin Pereira, Richard Lobo, Felcy Karmokar, Irene Kuri, John Carvalho and Aloysious Pereira were presented with mementos and saplings. Benjamin Mathias, Harry Lobo and Edna Rodricks were honoured for their selfless contribution to the MCA.

A melodious song ‘Moriyecho Bhagi Zalmadis’ was sung by MCA ladies along with the brothers Joyson Sujay Vas, Joel Roshan Fernandes, Kiran Lima, Nitin Monteiro, Don Prem Lobo and Lancy Sunil Secundas.

The tiny tots and the young teens put up beautiful dance programme choreographed by Senorita Rodricks and Jovia Karmokar. There was a rib tickling comedy skit ‘Bebdyachi Kaani’ played out by Benjamin Mathias and Nishanth D’Souza.

The guests of honour gave away gifts to all the participants of the dance programmes and skit.

Francis Oliveira Padukone felicitated the students who had passed various final examinations in 2017. Aloysious Saldanha handed over financial aid sponsored by Fr SudhirD’souza, IHRD, bengaluru to Clarita Soares and Antony Paste.

The event was beautifully compered by Judith Menezes and Veena Pereira. The cultural secretary, Sunitha D’Souza, thanked the audience which also included a good number of religious nuns for making Monthi Fest a joyful and a successful event and to all the members who worked directly or indirectly for the success of this programme.
The cultural programme concluded with the singing of ‘Laudate Dominum’. Fr Abraham D’Souza blessed the ‘Noven Jevann’. LancyD’Souza along with the MCA members kept the audience enthralled and in high spirits with their foot tapping Konkani medley songs (mando). The assembled guests were served a delicious fellowship meal ‘Novem
Jevann’ and Kobu (sugarcane).