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Events : MAC Celebrates Monthi Fest 2008
on 2008/9/11 22:50:00 (3273 reads)

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The feast day of the nativity of Our Lady stimulates us to ask this question: What benefit did her birth bring for mankind? Why should we celebrate her nativity in a special way? Our Lady was conceived without original sin, had a richness of personality and a treasure trove of graces that helped her intercede and pray for the redemption of mankind. On this special day, her kindness and mercy surrounds us and we gain innumerable favors from her. September 8th is also honored as a thanksgiving harvest festival in Mangalore wherein parishes bless the newly harvested grain and distribute it to parishioners. This grain is added to milk and drunk with an accompaniment of an odd number of traditional vegetarian dishes.

The Mangalorean Association of Canada commemorated the Monthi Fest with approximately 450 devoted Catholics on September 7, 2008 at Christ the King Church. Young children eagerly placed flowers in honor of Mother Mary to the accompaniment of “Sokkad Sangatha Melyan” and “Moriyek Hogolsiyan”. The novena was conducted by Mr. Gerry D’Mello. The Konkani mass was celebrated by His Grace, Most Rev. Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of Agra, Rev. Fr. Patrick D’Souza, Director of Fr. Muller’s Charitable Institutions, Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Pastor of Sts. Martha and Mary Church, Fr. Joe Mary Lobo, affectionately known as Guruji and Fr. Henry Alva. Fr. Henry Menezes participated in the liturgical service as well. The melodious choir conducted by Merlyn Rodrigues accentuated the service. The Monthi Fest service was made memorable with the Honor Guard led by the Knights of Columbus.

A light snack preceded the cultural program and dinner and Mr. Maxim D’Mello, President of MAC, welcomed all the guests. The emcee for the evening, Mr. Neville D’Souza ensured that the function ran smoothly and managed the crowd admirably. The emcee announced that the raffle proceedings would be disbursed towards cancer research. MAC also confirmed that $500 each would be given towards the Archbishop’s intentions and to Fr. Muller’s Institutions. The Novemn ceremony, the traditional drinking of milk with the new grain included the clergy and a cross section of the guests. His Grace then addressed the audience and gave his blessing on this auspicious occasion. Fr. Patrick Rodrigues also spoke to the gathering about how this feast is celebrated in India and provided an insight into how Fr. Muller’s Charitable Institutions impacts the poorer section in and around Mangalore. He also announced the establishment and opening of Father Muller Charitable Foundation USA in New Jersey on September 26, 2008. The generosity of the sponsors was rewarded with His Grace presenting blessed candles to them.

A feature presentation of the cultural program was the Konkani play produced, translated, scripted and directed by Oswald Sequeira. The actors acted with fervor and passion and played their parts realistically. The following were the actors: Pramila Rego as our Lady of Guadalupe, Oswald Sequeira as St. Juan Diego, Raymond Monteiro as Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, Lydia Sequeira as Juan Diego’s wife, Ronald Rego as Juan Bernardino, Leo Rego as the Bishop’s butler, Kevin Sequeira as the male devil and Yvonne D’Souza as the female devil. The prompters were Marie Monteiro and Ninette D'Souza and the stage and lighting was coordinated by Kevin Sequeira. The cultural program also included a song by Irene Cornelius and a dance by Jolene Menezes, Joylin D’Souza, Vinisha D’Souza, Clarissa D’Souza, Lloyd Pinto, Larson Pinto, Linton Pinto and Kyle D’Mello. Joyson D’Souza provided admirable DJ services throughout the program as well the music for the play. The vote of thanks was given by MAC Vice-President, Ronald Fernandes.

MAC also fulfilled one of its major undertakings – initiating and implementing spoken Konkani classes to the youngsters in our community. The response from the students and their parents was tremendous and the dedication of the Konkani instructor, Clara Fernandes was applauded and appreciated. The 6 students were awarded a Certificate of Achievement by the Archbishop and Fr. Patrick Rodrigues during the Monthi Fest program. The students are: Brenda Nicole Pais, Billie Andrea Pais, Roland D’Souza, Gwen Mendes, Aaron Pinto and Abigail Sequeira.

Sponsorships play a major role in the success of every function. MAC takes this opportunity to thank each and each one of our sponsors who contributed generously and gave voluntarily to Monthi Fest. Our sponsors were:
William D'Souza – Travel Planning, Globe Travels
Wilson D'Souza – Mortgage Specialist, BMO Bank of Montreal
Ronald Mathias - Real Estate Broker, Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc.
Ravi Fernandes – Auto Repair Services, Trinity Auto Center
Flavian Pinto – Retirement Planning Specialist, Sun Life Financial
Frank Serrao - Dixie Toyota
Reynold Sequeira - Real Estate Broker, Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc.
Maxim D'Mello - Insurance & Financial Specialist
Joseph Lobo - for all your printing, copy & signs needs - Inprint Copy & Signs
Oswald and Doris Saldanha - ardent supporters and well wishers
Edmund Pereira - Real Estate Broker - Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty
Arunlal Menezes – Well wisher on behalf of Fr. Muller’s Charitable Institutions

Konkan Delite catered a traditional all-vegetarian meal with the highlight of the meal being the delicious “Pathravade” and the sumptuous dessert, ‘Vorn’. The guests commended the quality and taste of the authentic meal. The following singers entertained the guests with songs: Lydia and Oswald Sequeira, Leo Rego and Sarita Mendonca. The program ended with Lavdathe and the guests anticipating Monthi Fest 2009. MAC appreciates the participation and help of all the volunteers and the dedication and commitment of its members who ensured the astounding success of the Monthi Fest.

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