By Janet D'Souza
Pictures by Ivan Lobo, Virginia D'Mello and Vijay Pereira
The birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary announced joy and salvation to a lost world. Mary was brought into this world pure, holy and glorious befitting one who was predestined to be the mother of the saviour. People and nations celebrate the birthdays of earthly beings with great enthusiasm and expectations. How then should we, Christians, rejoice and commemorate the birth of the mother of our salvation?
The Monthi Fest has tremendous significance to the Catholic community as it celebrates not only the birthday of the mother of Jesus Christ but also the new harvest. With a passion appropriate to this solemn yet festive event, the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) organized and hosted the traditional 'Monthi Fest' on September 11, 2016 at John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre in Mississauga. With announcements by John D'Souza and led by the Knights of Columbus, angelic children dressed in their finery placed flowers in honour of Mother Mary to the accompaniment of 'Sokkod Sangatha Melhyan' and 'Moriyek Hogolhsiyan'. The blessing of the corn and candles was done by Rev. Fr. Henry Alva. After the blessing, the people walked eagerly in a procession to the St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish for a Konkani Mass. With an overview from Gerry D'Mello, Rev. Fr. Edwin D'Souza, the main celebrant, led the Mass in Konkani to an enthusiastic congregation of worshippers. Rev. Fr. Andrew Lewis, Rev. Fr. Henry Alva, Deacon Sarfraz Pinto, Auxiliary Archbishop Rt. Rev. Lawrence Saldanha were co-celebrants at this Mass. The voices of the Konkani choir members reverberated through the church, a testimony to the immense talent and leadership of Merlyn Rodrigues, the choir leader. Blessed candles were distributed at the end of the liturgical celebrations to all sponsors in sincere appreciation of their generosity and unflagging support.
The cultural program commenced in the John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre with an introductory note by the vibrant emcee for the evening, Manohar Pais and a welcome address by Maxim D'Mello, President of MAC. A prayer by Sr. Ferdinanda was followed by a 3 minute audio visual presentation carefully choreographed by Leon Lobo that touched the hearts of the entire audience. It was a tribute to a humble and awe inspiring saint, our very own Mother Teresa and comprised of her pictures and quotes accompanied by a song sung by Usha Uthup. Written, edited and directed by Manohar Pais, the play 'Anaandache Mister' (Glorious Mysteries) was a stellar success largely due to the combined and outstanding talent and efforts of its director and local artistes. Each participating artiste invested time and energy into his/her performance and it was gratifying to see so many young children and adults on stage. The program flawlessly eased into honoring Walter D'Souza Nandalike, Founder and Managing Director of Daijiworld Media Pvt. Ltd and Dayan D'Souza Mukamar, Konkani activist, versatile orator and a talented leader. Maxim D'Mello together with past presidents of MAC, Ronald Fernandes and Melwyn Menezes led the honoring ceremony. The Novemn ceremony, the traditional drinking of milk with the new grain included the clergy, MAC EC members and main sponsors.
Dinner was a sumptuous array of vegetarian delicacies followed by the eagerly anticipated 'Vorn' catered to perfection by Konkan Delite. Dinner was followed by a soulful rendition of Ave Maria by Kierra Mathias. Not to be outdone, a versatile and immensely gifted youth band sang all-time favorites to toe tapping music entertaining the audience. A Bollywood dance and a cultural folk dance choreographed and performed by mostly youngsters was extremely popular and well received by all. The Scholarship award ceremony was facilitated by Reynold Sequeira. UAE Exchange Canada sponsored $500 towards the MAC scholarship and Rajesh PV of UAE Exchange Canada presented a cheque of $1000 to the lucky recipient, Ashton Mathias. A 50/50 raffle draw was done with the profits allocated to the Missionaries of Charity, established by Mother Teresa.
The Monthi Fest celebrations ended with Laudate and the cheers of the satisfied audience. MAC deeply appreciates the participation and help of all the volunteers and the dedication and commitment of its members who ensured the astounding success of Monthi Fest.
The generous sponsors who supported this memorable event were:
Annonymous Mangalorean Donor
Reginald & Mary Fernandes
Edmund Pereira (Real Estate Broker)
Flavian Pinto (Sunlife Insurance)
Francis Aranha (Remax Real Estate)
Frank Serrao (Dixie Toyota)
Loy D'Souza (Konkan delite)
Maxim D'Mello (Maxpres Financial Solutions Inc.)
Olivia Moras (Century 21 Real Estate)
Paul and Irene Mathias
Peter Noronha (Mortgage Broker)
Ravi Fernandes (Trinity Auto & Tire Centre)
Ronald & Clara Fernandes
Ronald Mathias (Real Estate Broker)
Ronald Rego (Rego International)
Stan Goveas (Brampton Monument Works)
Vijay Dante (Udupi Madras Cafe)
Wilson D'Souza (CIBC Mortgage Specialist)
A BIG salute to all the sponsors, members and the volunteers who worked diligently and tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the astounding success of the Monthi Fest 2016!
Click the link for the pictures: