PHOTOS Chicago, April 13: The Mangalorean Konkan Christian Association, USA celebrated its Easter celebration with great pomp at Courtland Square Club House in Des Plaines, this 10th of April. The celebration was initiated with a mass offered by Fr Sylvan, SJ and Fr Arun, SJ. Fr Arun in his powerful sermon presentation reminded the devotees present that Christ gave his life as a sign of His greatest love to humanity and that same love should be with every one of us. He stated that anyone who hurts other, delivers death, whether it is husband or wife or children or in general an Association member. He strongly advised that there shall be unity with in any two persons or an entity to dwell on love and the person who does not shows unity dwells on destruction of others, which is not a healthy sign.
The mass was conducted with hymns in Konkani and English, headed by MKCA choir group. Ms Daphne Fernandes provided the musical rhythm by her piano presentation. Lance Dias welcomed the guests and the members present. MKCA President, Dr Prabhu gave a brief description of future events to be organized by the association and informed audience to mark their calendar for the MKCA family get-together on July 17 and on September 4, 2004, for “Monthi Fest.” He informed the celebrants present that there will be no charge for the event and all are welcome. The organizers provided a sumptuous ethnic dinner arranged by Theresa D’Souza. Mangalorean special Dukra-maas was prepared by Mark & Loretta Dias and Sannam by Lin Martis. The Entertainment Committee spearheaded by Mrs Queenie Mendonca presented exciting games for children and adults. All the participants both young and old were excited to participate in these games. The Easter Bunny (Allen Martis) entertained the children present and distributed Easter gifts to each one of them. All the children were thrilled to receive Easter gifts. The emcee of the program Austin D’Souza Prabhu entertained the crowd and made this program a successful one. For having this program a great success, Vinod Menezes thanked the guests and members, for their enthusiastic participation and help extended to the organizers. In keeping up with the tradition of Mangalorean Konkan Christians, all the participants present sang “Loudathe Dominum” as a mark of successful conclusion of a formal function. Later all young and old danced until they dropped to the Konkan, Spanish, Hindi and English musical tunes provided by DJ Nil.
Chicago, December 23: Mangalorean Konkan Christian Association ® celebrated “Nathal Fest 003” (Christmas celebrations) on December 20, 2003 at the Crown Jewel Banquet Hall in Des Plaines, Illinois. Rev. Dr. George Madathiparampil celebrated Holy Mass and gave a befitting homily. MKCA choir group under the leadership of Francis Lobo and Solomon David sang traditional konkani hymns. Several Mangaloreans from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, Canada, Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa attended and filled the banquet hall.
After mass, it was indeed an attractive site to watch people having fellowship and greeting each other during the social hour. After the social hour, Chicago’s Consul General of India, Honorable Mr. Arun Kumar presided over the program and Mr. Mohammed H. Mirza, President of Samir Financial Services and his wife Sara Mirza were the guest of honor. MKCA president Dr. Austin D’Souza Prabhu welcomed the crowd to this joyous occasion giving a brief history about Konkans coming all the way from Saraswati River. In his speech, he highlighted their conversion from Hinduism to Christianity and then spreading Konkani throughout the West Coast of India. He said that India has produced strong Mangalorean leaders through growth of education, social service, literature, engineering, technology and other fields. He reminded the crowd Mangalore has been called the ‘Little Rome of India’ because of Catholics’ institutions, hospitals, schools and colleges that have trained not only Christians but also every other faith.
Consul General Arun Kumar praised Christians of India for their dedication and hard work in several fields particularly the educational field. He said that he studied in Catholic schools from elementary to university level and commended the services of Christians in India. “When I was in Rome as a consul general, I visited Vatican 156 times and also I took lessons on Christian Theology,” he said. He praised MKCA in Chicago for promoting their Indian culture, language and heritage and gathering to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
MKCA president Dr. Austin D’Souza Prabhu introduced Mohammed H. Mirza and thanked him for his contribution to MKCA and needy people at large. Just a month ago, Mr. Mirza provided finances to build a flourmill in Rajasthan for a poor Hindu family whose 14 years old son was beaten to death by his schoolteacher. Mirza gave an inspirational speech and told the participants of how through hard work and discipline he started his own business from scratch with a lot of sacrifice and dedication progressed to being a lucrative business. He praised the United States, the land of opportunity for enabling him to fulfill his dreams. He was honored by consul general on behalf of MKCA with a plaque and MKCA first lady Terry D’Souza presented a bouquet of roses as a token of appreciation to his wife Sara Mirza. Mass celebrant Rev. Dr. George Madathiparampil and consul general were also given Christmas gifts by MKCA, USA.
MKCA Choir sang Christmas Carols in Konkani and entertained the gathering. At the end while singing Jingle Bells, Santa Claus (Lig Martis) arrived full of energy and gave Christmas presents to all the kids present. Shalu Mirza and two daughters of guest Mr. Vasanth Charles entertained the crowd with Indian dances. Golden voices of MKCA, Ramona Sequeira, Vanessa D’Souza, Mr. Lig Martis, Larry Mascarenhas and Francis Lobo entertained the crowd with classical Konkani songs, Mando and Baila.
Delicious Indian dinner was served and every person who attended this program was given a packet of Kuswar (traditional Mangalorean Christmas snacks). A raffle was held with wonderful prizes and the music of DJNil, Mr. Anil D’Souza forced the crowd to dance and keep on dancing. MKCA secretary Lawrence Mascarenhas thanked everyone that graced the occasion wishing all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2004. Allen Martis was the master of ceremonies for the program.
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