MCAS celebrates Monthi fest in Sydney

Media Release

Sydney, Sep 19: The Mangalurean Catholic community in Sydney may have celebrated the Nativity of Our Lady a week after September 8, but the enthusiasm, devotion and joy shown by all who joined in the grand celebration was indeed a sight to behold. Over 230 people filled the Roselea Hall in Carlingford in a sea of traditional and colourful attire.

The festivities got underway at 11.20am as the dynamic Mangalorean Catholic Association of Sydney (MCAS) president, Stanley D’Cruz, welcomed the faithful congregation and thanked everyone for coming together to celebrate.

Holy mass was offered by Fr Prakash Coutinha and Fr George Monis, both of who flew in all the way from Melbourne especially to be part of the event. Young Andrea Pinto served as altar girl faithfully and diligently. Melodious hymns from the choir were led by the immensely talented Neil Mascarenhas and Joylene Moras, supported by Brendon Moras on the keyboard. Keeping it in the family were Delcy, Deena, Juliet and Evelyn Moras, with Alan D’Souza, Marsha Rodrigues and Brian Ferrao, making the hall come alive with voices in perfect harmony. Fr Monis delivered an electrifying sermon extolling the virtues of beloved mama Mary and how her humility and complete surrender to God’s will should be an inspiration in all our day-to-day lives. Children and youth were made part of the mass, with Nireeksha and Nikita D’Souza doing the first and second readings, Ethan Furtado reading the prayers of the faithful and little Christina Fernandis and Danica Furtado cheerfully walking down the hall with baskets of flowers leading the adults during offertory. Being the harvest feast, in the prayers of the faithful, the Australian farmers who are struggling with severe drought this year were remembered. Mother in heaven must have recognized the sincerity and indeed listened to the prayers when she brought rain into Sydney less than two days later!

Following mass, the excitement in all the children was evident as they gathered around the infant Mary, holding trays of fresh flowers. It was wonderful seeing the next generation of little Mangalureans carrying on this beautiful tradition. As the choir sang out ‘Sokkod Sangatha Mellyam’ and ‘Moriyek Hogolsiyan’ together with the crowd, Father Prakash led the children in showering Mary with a deluge of flowers and covering her in a sea of red, pink, purple and orange. For their devotion and enthusiasm in honouring Mary, each child was rewarded with a chocolate treat.

The event then truly kicked off in full swing thanks to firecracker MC Swati D’Souza, who made sure the programme flowed smoothly and without a hitch. There were captivating dance performances by sisters Nireeksha and Nikita D’Souza, followed by the adorable and energetic brother-sister dance duo of Anna and Ansel Pinto, who entertained the crowd with gusto. While music from amchi Mangaluru filled the hall, expertly played by DJ Savio Monis, resident MCAS chef and restaurateur, Michael Fernandis, ensured that everyone relished generous servings of Chicken Kebab, cocktail samosas and spring rolls, enjoyed by adults and kids alike.

MCAS president Stanley D’Cruz provided a charged and heartfelt speech highlighting the importance of Monthi fest to Mangalurean Catholics and then introduced the rest of the MCAS committee vice president and treasurer Savio Monis, general secretary Joylene Moras, social secretary Rowena Sequeira and executive committee members Nelson and Niliya D’Souza, Michael Fernandis, Anil Pinto and Neha D’Souza, who unfortunately was unable to attend. Stanley drew attention to the dedication and hard work of the committee in organizing the event, particularly as all the food was homemade and lovingly prepared by the committee the day before, cooking for over 200 people is no mean feat. Franklin Moras, Jeethan Rodrigues, Kate Titterton, Ranjith Furtado, Gladys Sequeira, Beryl D’Cruz and Anil Mendonca were thanked for their unwavering support, particularly with the cooking as well as making sure the hall was set up beautifully.

Stanley then thanked the generous sponsors for the event Joachim Mendes, John Menezes, Preethi D’Silva, Sreenivasan Rao, Nigel Sequeira and Yasmeen Lodhi.

Heartfelt and impassioned speeches from the guests of honour, David Clarke and consul general Manish Gupta touched everyone present. David Clarke is a patron of MCAS and has always stood by the Mangalorean Catholic Association of Sydney.

A side-splitting Konkani skit by seasoned veterans Joylene Moras, with father and son Richie and Reon Rebello, brought the house down with their perfect comedic timing.

A highlight of the proceedings was Stanley requesting the new members of the association and those recent arrivals in Australia to come forward and introduce themselves. Parents visiting from India were also felicitated. It was joyous to see the Mangalurean community continue to grow in Sydney and the new members were welcomed with open arms.

The well-awaited lunch made for an impressive spread. The committee proudly looked on as everyone savoured Mangalurean Pork Bafat, Chicken curry, Beans Sukka, Mangalurean Channa and Sannas prepared by Stanley and Beryl D’Cruz as well as Niliya D’Souza, accompanied by pulao, salad and pickles. A presentation on MCAS history by Ranjith and Rowena Furtado was played as the crowd enjoyed their lunch. Dessert was mouth-watering traditional vorn, lovingly made by Stanley and Beryl D’Cruz.

MCAS social secretary Rowena Sequeira gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the committee, highlighting the fact that without the support of all the attendees, it would not have been possible to celebrate this wonderful Mangalurean Catholic feast though they are thousands of miles away from the motherland.

With everyone well-fed and bellies full, an exciting round of housie was played and enjoyed by all. The raffle soon after had people at the edge of their seats, waiting for their ticket numbers to be called out.

The event would not be complete without the spirited Mangalurean baila. The dance floor filled up in an instant and the floor vibrated to the beats of ‘Maria Pitache’ and ‘Ya Ya Mayaya’.

The event was unanimously deemed a great success. The very skilled Jean Banz was the wonderful photographer for the afternoon and she captured scores of cherished moments and memories from what was a very jam-packed and fun-filled day.


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Title : MCAS celebrates Monthi fest in Sydney


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