MKCA, USA – Monthifest with a “Unique Touch”

Report: Stany Gerald D’Souza
Photographs:  Austin D’Souza and Lawrence Mascarenhas

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Chicago, Sept 12, 2011:  As the feast of Monthifest was celebrated by the Christians around the world with devotion of pomp, the Mangalorean Konkan Christians Association (MKCA/USA) celebrated it with its true spirit and in unison with current events worldwide.  This event signifies the pure and simple love and devotion of Mother Mary in accepting the heavenly call and sharing her life towards betterment of human race.  This event provides Christians worldwide to share and hold their unity and nurturance towards their close kith and kin.  The event signifies, offering of new crop to the Creator and rejoicing the harvest of new crop. Christians around Illinois and surrounding States as well as the visitors from India and Arabian countries attended the event.

The program began with a procession with children carrying flowers to express their love, respect and devotion to Mother Mary, which was culminated by offering a single most beautiful flower to the statue of Infant Mary.  With the singing of “Sokkod Sangatha Mellyam” and “Moriyek Hogollsiyam”, children were rejoicing with admiration and joy.

The Holy Eucharist was conducted by Rev. Fr. Henry Sequeira in Konkani and English.  In his Homily, Fr. Sequeira gave a simple and wonderful message that how we all can be simple and devote our lives in helping others, without expecting anything in returns.  He stated that although Jesus had divine origin, HE was also a human and the human part of HIM was nurtured and developed by HIS mother – Mother Mary.  Fr. Sequeira said, Mother Mary taught Jesus the culture, the Aramaic language, the fashion of clothing, the humble interaction with fellow human beings and many more.  The Hymns were sung exclusively in Konkani by the celebrants present.

Fr. Sequeira blessed the new crop (Novem), which was brought in from India especially for this program by Neville and Melissa Miranda. All the audience partaken the “Novem” in roce.

As a mark of respect to the tragic event of 9/11 ten years ago, compeer Dr. Austin D’Souza Prabhu, expressed how the world has changed and there is constant threat of terrorism worldwide even after the tragic incident of 9/11. As a reminder to younger generation, Austin stated that 10 years ago how the terrorist brought down the two tallest buildings of New York, attacked Pentagon by killing thousands of innocent people from all walks of life.   In memory of this tragedy and to honor the innocent lives lost, all the audience rose and sang “God Bless America”.

The MKCA President, Queenie Mendonca welcomed the audience present and thanked them for their great support and fellowship.

The cultural program was initiated by Roopa Misquita by involving all the audiences present by conducting a unique game of “How well you know thy yourself!”   It’s a game whereby a member sitting beside you explain your character and personality and audience guess who it is.  Both young and old enjoyed this game very much.  It was dancing time for couples and others to the tune of new D.J. Allen Martis and Joswin Mendonca.

There were wonderful bonanza of vegetarian dishes along with “Sannam” (idli) and “Dalichem Vorn” for the dinner to relish on.  In addition, there was a fish item introduced in the menu for the first time in order to integrate the tradition of northern part of greater Mangalorean Diocese, where Monthifest is celebrated with variety of fish dishes. It was an idea of Mr. James Fernandes, one of the founder members of MKCA/USA.  All the dishes were home-made by MKCA family members.  The audience were happy, content and savored all the Mangalorean dishes for their heart’s content!

The attendees enjoyed the hit songs of Konkani sung by the members present.  The General Secretary of the Association, Francis Mascarenhas proposed vote of thanks. He specially thanked the members who prepared the variety of dishes for the program.  He thanked all the members who have worked hard directly or indirectly for the success of this program.  The cultural program culminated with the singing of “Loudathe Dominum”.

The D.J. entertained the members present with variety of hit songs of Konkani, Hindi, Spanish and English.  This program was a great success under able leadership of event chairperson Godwin Rego.