by Dr Lynn Dsouza
USA, Sep 15: A time to rejoice and give thanks, Monti Fest celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mangalorean Catholic Association of the East coast (MCA-EC), USA celebrated Monti Fest on Saturday, the 12th September, 2009, at Edison, NJ.
It was an evening symbolizing a precise blend of solemnity and merriment, there was never a dull moment. Over 150 Mangalorean Catholics from the North East US were present at this celebration.
The liturgy of the day began with a procession of children singing the traditional Konkani hymn, ‘Sakkad Sangatha Melyan’ followed by a novena to the Blessed Mother led by the children. The joyous flower offering with the hymn “Moriyek hogolsiyan” was the main lure of the event. Mass was celebrated by Rev Fr Joe Lobo, and was concelebrated by Rev Fr Henry Vaz. The children were asked by Fr Joe to partake in the blessing of the new paddy sheaves (Novem).
Fr Joe, in his message to the gathering, expressed his joy in being with the Mangalorean catholic community and conveyed the blessings of the Bishop of Mangalore, The Most Rev Dr Aloysius D’souza, on the people.
After the Hoy Mass, the cultural program reverberated enthusiasm and buoyancy. It started off with a Prayer dance by Sydelle and Shaina Barreto. A group performance by Orran, Meldon, Clayton and Wenola - ‘Amee Doghi Sezaran’ led the audience down memory lane.
8 year old Leann Rego, enthralled the audience with her scintillating dance performance to a song from the movie Lagaan. Catching up on the children’s trail, Merlin and Premilla Mendonca mesmerized the crowds with their alluring dance to the tunes of a popular hindi song. The icing on the cake was a duet ‘Ye Ye Kathrina sung by the Mendonca couple Mark and Merlin. Children’s games were interspersed with the cultural events.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Charles Rodrigues.
All those gathered shared in the Novem, mixed with vorn. Dinner was exclusively vegetarian in keeping with the Mangalorean tradition.
After dinner, emcee Grace Baretto turned the event over to the DJ, Chris Monis, who lured the guests to the dance floor with tunes to satisfy every style and taste.
By all accounts, this event was a fitting birthday celebration for our Blessed Mother.
The MCAEC looks forward to organizing our next event – the MCA-EC Christmas party. New membership enquires and volunteers are welcome, please contact: email@example.com