Report by Stan D’souza
Photographs By: Sabrina Wing and Santhosh Veigas
Click here for to view the Album
Chicago, Dec. 20: The Mangalorean Konkan Christians Association (MKCA/USA) presented its prestigious program “Nathal Fest – 2010” (Christmas) at the Sher-E-Punjab Banquet Hall at Downers Grove, Illinois. Even though, the weather was not so favorable; the banquet hall was packed with members and guests. The glorious celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ culminated with great joy when the organizers unleashed the fun-packed activities.
The program began with celebrating the Holy Eucharist by Rev. Fr. Richard Vaz, SVD and Rev. Fr Henry Sequeira in Konkani. The Homily was delivered by Rev. Fr. Henry Sequeira, who inspired the devotees to share the Peace and Joy with those who are in great need. He said, “Christ was born to deliver Peace and Joy to the human race and we shall do the same to each other”. The MKCA Choir members sung Konkani and English hymns conducted by Dorothy Rego accompanied by Daphne Fernandes playing the Keyboard.
Queenie Mendonca, the President of the association welcomed the guests, well-wishers and all the members present, especially Mrs. Vandana Jhingan, Chicago Bureau Chief of Asia TV network, who had come to video-graph the celebration. In her welcome speech, the president said, “it is the time to be thankful and to share love and thanked the guests for their continued love, support and friendship especially during the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ”. The president also thanked the presence of young and old united in joining this program, which represents the spreading of Joy and Peace from family to society and from society to the world.
The Chairperson of the program Steven D’Souza, who coordinated and organized the program well with his dynamic leadership, invited the audience for a social hour with typical Indian appetizers and the open bar. The program was followed by the grand arrival of the Santa Clause, to the tune of “Jingle Bells”. The arrival of Santa, sent electric waves to the children present. They were all mesmerized and happy to receive gifts from Santa Clause. The youth participated in the “MKCA Officers” game, which was won by Sherry Fernandes. There was an interesting “Couple’s Balloon Dance”, which was won by three couples – Sal-Florine Rodrigues, Royce D’Souza-Elizabeth Matthew, and Stan- Vissia D’Souza.
The General Secretary of the Association, Francis Mascarenhas thanked all the audience for their gracious presence. He specially thanked the families who prepared the Kuswar Items.
The sumptuous typical Indian Dinner with never-to-miss home-made Mangalorean cuisine — Dukra Maas (pork meat) and Sannam (idli) was served along with mouth watering deserts.
There were unique door prizes and a silent auction, courtesy – of Clay Oven Restaurant, Priya Restaurant, Sam’s Club, Panera, Hawthorn Suites, and various items donated by team members. The organizers presented all the attendees with “Kuswar Packets”, the typical Mangalorean style Christmas goodies, prepared by the Members of MKCA. This is a typical Mangalorean Konkan Christian culture, whereby families prepare Christmas goodies and share them with their relatives and neighbors during Christmas time – a mark of the sharing of joy. As usual the attendees hit the dance floor with full force for the musical tunes of Konkani, English, Spanish and Hindi songs. The DJ was conducted by Allen Martis.
The program was well compered by the event Chairperson Steven D’Souza.