Report by: Stany D’Souza Pics: Austin D’Souza Prabhu and Lawrence Mascarenhas
March 30, Chicago:About 2 billion Christians worldwide celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ with great devotion. This divine event was also celebrated by the Mangaorean Konkan Christian Association (MKCA/USA) with great pomp at Courtland Square Club House in Des Plaines, Illinois.
It was a wonderful break for Chicagoans after months of snowy, rainy and wintry weather. The day was sunny and ideal for celebrations.
The celebration was initiated with a Mass offered by Fr Henry Sequeira. The ceremony started with blessing of fire and lighting of Easter Candle followed by blessing of water and incense. Fr Sequeira in his powerful sermon reminded the devotees present that Christ gave his life as a sign of his greatest love to humanity and that same love should be shared by each other. He further stated that Easter candle which symbolizes risen Christ is a good example of how we have to live as resurrected people. As the candle burns itself and gives light and warmth to others so also we must be loving and warm in our relationships. He said another symbol of risen Jesus is the bird of phoenix of ancient mythology, a bird resembling an eagle that lived for 500 years and then burned itself to death on a pyre from whose ashes another phoenix arose. It commonly appears in literature as a symbol of death and resurrection. So we must be like the bird of phoenix today dying and rising with Jesus daily.
The Mass was conducted with hymns in Konkani and English, headed by MKCA choir group, under the leadership of Dorothy Rego. During the Mass, the attendees exchanged Easter greetings with each other with hugs, kisses and handshakes.
The MKCA president, Godwin Rego welcomed the guests and the members present. All the participants enjoyed the ethnic snacks and open bar. This was followed by grand entry of Easter Bunny (by Shawn D’Souza), who entertained the young children with his “Happy Bunny” maneuvers. All the children were very happy to receive gifts from Easter Bunny and they posed with Bunny for a photo shootout.
When the mood was right, couples hit the floor to ball dancing. Then there was a time for dinner catered by Tamarind Restaurant, Niles.The audience enjoyed the multi-ethnic desserts home prepared by Vissia D’Souza, PRO of the association. There was impromptu singing of Konkani, Hindi and English songs by Alphonce Mascarenhas, LigMartis and Nisha Mendez.
The emcee of the program Steven D’Souza entertained the crowd and made this program a successful one. For having this program a great success, Lawrence Mascarenhas, the event Chairperson, thanked the guests and members for their enthusiastic participation and help extended to the organizers.
All the participants danced to the tunes of Konkani, Spanish, Hindi and English songs provided by DJ Darrel Mascarenhas, who entertained the audience with his live music and Baila singing.