Report by: Stany G. D’Souza
Pics by Royan Misquita, Austin D’Souza and Visssia D’Souza
Chicago, Sept 8: It was one of the best days of summer, which welcomed the celebrants to Courtland Community Hall of Des Plaines, Illinois. This is one of the star programs presented by the Mangalorean Konkan Christian Association (MKCA) on yearly basis. 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. Traditionally, this event also signifies the unity and nurturance among the kith and kin by offering the new crop to the Creator and partake it with family. The program was well attended by the Christians around Illinois and surrounding States as well as the visitors from India.
The program began with a procession of celebrants, especially, children carrying flowers to express their love, respect and devotion to the birth of Mother Mary, and culminated in front of the Infant Mary’s statue. With the singing of “Sokkod Sangatha Mellyam” and “Moriyek Hogollsiyam”, children were rejoicing with admiration, joy and respect to offer flowers to Infant Mary.
The Holy Eucharist was conducted by Rev. Fr. Henry Sequeira. In his Homily he presented how Mother Mary sustained the pressure and humiliation of the society to be a single mother and to be with a common man like St. Joseph besides her. He stated that even in modern days, to be a single mother is a stigma, never to say that it is very hard work. He praised the untainted love and devotion that Mother Mary offered in raising Infant Jesus by leaving the glorious and royal family, which she belonged to. He stated that we have to take an example of her life in tackling any odds that we may face, so that we can be successful in our lives. He congratulated all the participants for keeping the Mangalorean culture and customs alive in a far away land in USA. The MKCA Choir members gave a special touch by singing Hymns exclusively in Konkani.
Fr. Henry, blessed the new crop (Novem), which was produced in India and all the participants partook the “Novem in Roce”. As a mark of respect to our motherland, Compeer Dr. Austin D’Souza Prabhu, asked the audience to rise and to sing our Indian National Anthem “Jana Ghana Mana” and thereafter, all sang “God Bless America”. The MKCA President, Godwin Rego welcomed the audience present and thanked them for their continued support and fellowship. There were typical Mangalorean snacks like Samosa, Chana masaala and idly complimented with open bar. The participants enjoyed the Mangalorean appetizers.
The attendees were excited to participate in games conducted by Roopa Misquita and Queenie Mendonca. They also facilitated couples dance and group dances. The festive mood was all around the hall and children did exploit the full use of the program by running around and dancing in-and-around the floor.
The President of MKCA, Godwin Rego distributed prizes to the winners of the sports and games conducted during the Picnic – 2012. The Secretary of the Association Steven D’Souza called all those who prepared the wonderful menu items to the dais and thanked them for their great efforts. He thanked all the audience for their wonderful support and help to Association’s activities. The compeer Austin D’Souza Prabhu announced that MKCA will be participating in Christmas Around the World program at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago representing India on December 2, 2012. He also announced the MKCA’s forthcoming event of Natal Fest on December 22, 2012.
There was a wonderful Bonanza of Vegetable Menu consisting 13 items along with “Sannam” (idli), “ Vorn” and Mango Kulfi for the dinner to relish on. All this was home prepared by the MKCA family members. All the audience was happy and content to have these Mangalorean dishes. The cultural program culminated with the singing of “Loudathe Dominum”.
The participants enjoyed to take over the floor and dance till they dropped to the tunes of Konkani, Hindi, Spanish and English songs provided by D.J. Joey Mendonca. This program was a great success under the able leadership of the past president Lawrence Mascarenhas.