USA: MKCA Celebrates Monthi Fest with Grandeur

Report & Pics from Dr Austin D'Souza Prabhu
Daijiworld Media Network - USA 

Recent Celebrations:

Chicago, Sep 8: Chicago, Sept. 6, 2008: The Mangalorean Konkan Christians Association (MKCA), USA, celebrated the feast of Mother Mary, popularly known as “Monthi Fest” with all the festivities and grandeur.  

After hurricane Gustav’s effect of torrential rains and overcast skies a day or two before, all the Mangaloreans in Chicago experienced a renewed spirit of joy to attend this program, where the day was beautiful with mild weather and full of sunshine.

 Christians around the world celebrate nativity of Mother Mary with great devotion but in Mangalorean tradition, it is coupled with celebration of the new harvest of crops. This feast can be compared to Thanksgiving Day celebrated in North America, where all the family members get together for family reunion and thank the Lord for His blessings on them.

The program began with a procession by the children carrying flower baskets and adults following them to the hall singing the most favorite hymn of “Sokkad Sangatha Melyam”.  The children offered their most beautiful flower to the Infant Mary and when the people started singing “Moriyek Hogolsyam”, children were thrilled to offer flowers in honor of Infant Mary.  This was followed by celebration of Holy Mass in Konkani and English by Rev. Fr. Henry Sequeira.  In his homily Fr. Sequeira explained the significance of this celebration and stated that the Mangaloreans celebrate this feast of Mother Mary in unique way by honoring her as the creator of life and comparing that with bountiful of new crops of the season through her unique blessings. 

The MKCA Choir group organized by Dorothy Rego and conducted by Darryl Mascarenhas sang glorious hymns in Konkani, which raised the festive mood of celebrants present.  Fr. Sequeira blessed the new crop of rice kernels (especially flown for this occasion from Mangalore; courtesy of Jossie Mendonca) called as “Novem.”  Then a few blessed kernels were mixed with sweet coconut milk (roce) and distributed to the celebrant. Everyone partake the “Novem” as a mark of unity by thanking the Almighty for the new crop.  .  

During the Mass Dr. Austin D’Souza explained the current communal crisis faced by the Christians of State of Orissa and requested everyone to pray for the victims.  He explained the steps taken by American Federation of Christians of North America in contacting various leaders of India and the United States of America by sending memorandum requesting their immediate intervention in this humanitarian crisis. He also stated that there will be a protest assembly at Syrro Malabar Church at Bellwood coming Sunday and requested everyone to attend this program and show our solidarity towards the fellow Christians.

As an initiation of formal program, the MKCA president, Lawrence Mascarenhas welcomed all the attendees present.  In his welcome speech, he thanked the crowd for their great presence and requested them to support the cause of MKCA in uniting all the Mangaloreans in keeping and promoting the unique Mangalorean culture.  He requested their help and cooperation in future programs.  This was followed by wonderful home made snacks provided by the members of MKCA.  There was open bar managed by Jossie Mendonca.  All the members present were thrilled to taste the great Ambades with Chutney and Chole.

During the Happy Hour, many couples hit the floor to dance to the tunes of famous Konkani songs “Mongan Asonk Borem” and “Claudia”.  Alphonce Mascarenhas and Ligoury Martis entertained the audience by singing hit Konkani solo and group songs.  Crystal Rodrigues and Aisha Bhasker presented a wonderfully choreographed dance to the tunes of Hindi song “Dhoom Tana”.  All the members present gave a thunderous applause to these great performances.

Mark Rodrigues arranged the dinner, which had mouth watering home made authentic Mangalorean menu items prepared by MKCA family members.  As a strict adherence to cultural celebration of Monthi Fest all the items on the menu were vegetarian.  There was typical Mangalorean “Vorn” which was relished by all the members present.

The Chairperson of this very successful program Terry D’Souza, thanked all the members and guests for their wonderful contribution in the success of this program.  Lawrence Mascarenhas then thanked Terry D’Souza for her wonderful organization in the unique success of this program.  As a mark of typical Mangalorean style conclusion of the program, the members sang “Loudate Dominum”.  All the members then hit the floor to dance to the tunes of Konkani, Hindi, English and Spanish songs presented by the D.J. Anil D’Souza.  At the end of this program, Darryl Mascarenhas entertained the crowd with his continuous Baila songs, which received great applause and nonstop dancing by the members present.  

The program was wonderfully compered by Dr. Austin D’Souza Prabhu. The Alter was beautifully decorated by Stan & Vissia D’Souza with the help of Jossie Mendonca and Terry D’Souza.


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Comment on this article

  • Fr. Donnie, Shirva/Mangalore

    Thu, Sep 11 2008

    I was trying to trace Dr. Jennifer Mathias, Allan Mathias and Sherman Mathias and their families in the photographs but could not find them! Are you there in Chicago, folks? Reply soon!

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  • N. Mascarenhas, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 09 2008

    Glad to see the wonderful pictures of our fellow Mangaloreans celebrating the Monthi Fest in foreign land. I congratulate the MKCA leaders for planting the Mangalorean culture and traditions in far west. I wish all the best to Mr. Lawrence Mascarenhas, the president of MKCA and his team in their future endeavours.

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    Tue, Sep 09 2008


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  • Rajesh Sequeira, Kulshekar, Dubai, Coordinator Karnataka NRI Forum UAE

    Mon, Sep 08 2008

    Congratulations Mr Austin for the wonderfull coverage and keeping mangalorean spirit in USA. Keep up your good work

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  • joe Gonsalves, Mangalore/U.S.A.

    Mon, Sep 08 2008

    It is good to see Dr. Austin Prabhu taking the lead in keeping up The Mangalorean traditions in distant America. I have met Austin in Chciago where he tries to keep The Mangalorean Community together. Stan his brother and Stan's wife Vissine have their resources and initiatives and more than that their goodwill to conduct different progammes. Jossie and Terry as usual try and ensure that that the events are kept up in a fitting manner. Congrats to you Austin and others on putting up such a great show. Joe Gonsalves

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