Scholarship Award Winners for 2020 / Nativity of BVM

The Mangalorean Association of Canada is proud to declare winners of the 2020 Educational Scholarship Program: 

1.  Jake Pereira – $1,000

2.  Aidan Mathias – $500

Education contributes to economic success, personal growth, awareness, understanding and nation-building.  The Mangalorean Association of Canada uses its resources to impact and influence the lives of students seeking higher education.  The youth in our community are an indispensable part of our future and legacy and in support of this investment, the Scholarship Program was established.

We are also grateful to the following sponsors who contributed generously to the Scholarship Award Program.

Wilson D’Souza – SonWil Finance Team

Reginald and Mary Fernandes

Leo and Precilla D’Cunha

Ronald Rego

Hyacinth and Freda DeSouza

Sanjay Vora

Also, on the eve of the Nativity of our Blessed Virgin Mary, we take this opportunity to wish you a “Happy Monthi Fest”.  Unfortunately, we could not come together as one large family to celebrate the feast this year.  Nevertheless, we hope that you will able to celebrate it with your family members at home, and pray that may Mother Mary intercede for us and help us overcome this situation soon and help our scientists to find a permanent cure to the dreadful disease, soon.

MAC Lenten Retreat 2020 from February 29th CANCELLED

Lenten Service and Holy Mass CANCELLED.

Dear Members,

Please be informed that due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic and as per the directives received from the Archdiocese of Toronto, the Holy Mass and Lenten Service organized by the Mangalorean Association of Canada at Sts. Martha & Mary Parish stands cancelled with immediate effect. We will provide sufficient advance notice when we are able to restore our regular spiritual service.

Please take care of yourself and your dear ones and stay blessed.

Thank you.


Manohar Pais
Mangalorean Association of Canada

MAC Social 2020 on May 2nd CANCELLED

Dear Members,

We regret to inform you that due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic and adhering to the strict controls put in place by the Government, the MAC SOCIAL 2020 has been called off.   While it was hard for us to take this unfortunate decision, we had to do it in the best interest of our community. 

At this moment, we are unable to let you know whether we will be able to organize this event in the current year, but we promise to continue our regular community services once the normal life is restored in the City.

Please be safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones.  May God bless all of us.

Thank you.


Manohar Pais


Forthcoming Events 2021

Please mark the following dates as placeholders for 2021:

Thank you all for your support in 2020.

As we roll up our sleeves to start 2021 we want to request you to continue with your support by attending our major events this year.

Please mark your calendars for the following dates:

MAC AGM 2021 – NOV 2021 – date and time will be posted soon

Our Konkani Mass celebration will continue as before and will be celebrated on the 2nd Saturday of every month. A reminder will be sent by email.

Our Association needs the support of its members to survive the challenges we face. We urge each and every member to reach out to the Executive committee to voice your opinion as well as share ideas on what we can do to help make our Association stronger.

In closing, we wish you all the best in 2021.

MAC spreads Christmas cheer

Report by Gerry D’Mello

Pics: Ronald D’Souza

As part of Christmas celebration, Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC), which comprises of the Konkani Catholic Community of Greater Toronto, organized ‘Christmas Concert and Party’ with joy and splendor at Sts Martha and Mary Parish in Mississauga on December 14.

The grand celebration began with the High Mass in Konkani celebrated by Fr Edwin D’Souza, the spiritual director of MAC and Fr Henry Alva OFM Cap., the Provincial of the Franciscan Capuchins of ‘Mary Mother of Good Shepherd’ province, in the region of English speaking Canada.

The church reverberated with the voices of the faithful and the magnificence and significance of the Christmas festival was evident in the significant crowd gathered. The walls of the church resonated with the mellifluous singing of the Konkani choir conducted by Merlyn Rodrigues and the music accompaniment by Lester Rodrigues and Wilson D’Souza. The homily delivered by Fr Henry Alva was very enlightening and thought provoking. He gave a clarion call to create a Crib in the hearts for the birth of Christ to enjoy love, joy and peace of Baby Jesus.

At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, Manohar Pais, the dynamic president of MAC delivered the vote of thanks. He thanked the clergy, the Choir, the members of the executive committee and all those who supported in making the event a grand success. He also thanked the sponsors and volunteers for their time, selfless sacrifices and energy during the year 2019.

The highlight of the programme, after the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, was a Christmas tableau that was presented by MAC children of various age groups directed by Nina Crasta and Suneetha D’Souza. Each child is to be commended for their unique accomplishment as the Tableau was a resounding success and appreciated by all. Rony D’Souza, the spiritual coordinator, ensured that the programme ran smoothly and was seamless.

The Christmas party celebration commenced at the party hall with a hearty welcome that was extended to an overwhelmingly full hall by the emcee, John D’Souza. With his charming and inimitable style, John built a rapport with the audience. The MAC members and guests were treated with Christmas carols, games, gifts, Christmas cake and delicious snacks. Children were overjoyed to receive gifts from Santa.

Manohar Pais and his support team organized the event meticulously and to perfection.

Click below for pictures:

MAC celebrates Monthi Fest in Canada

Report by Janet D’souza
Photographs by Ivan Lobo

“Monthi Fest” or the Nativity of our Lady kindles and evokes a flood of sentimental and wistful memories in the minds of the Konkani Catholic community within Canada – recollections of succulent sugarcane, red sticky homemade candy, fresh flowers, scrumptious organic vegetables and so on. Through many generations, the harvest festival has evolved to embrace solemn customs and folk traditions such as the blessing of the rice kernels, showering of flowers to Infant Mary, consuming the grains of the new harvest in a cup of milk or sweet “Vorn”, and serving an odd number of vegetarian dishes at the festive meal. Monthi Fest is an intrinsic part of the Konkan culture as it celebrates not only the harvest and hard work by the farmers but also emphasizes the significance of the birthday of our dear Mother Mary.

The Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) celebrated “Monthi Fest” on Sunday, September 8, 2019 with devotion and grandeur befitting our Mother Mary at St Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Mississauga.  John D’Souza, Cultural Coordinator, welcomed the faithful and quickly summarised the flow of religious events.  A solemn procession of little children carrying trays of beautiful flowers entered the hall and they enthusiastically offered flowers in honor of Mother Mary to the lilting tunes of “Sokkod Sangatha Mellyam” and “Moriyek Hogolsiyan”.  As this ceremony ended, people walked with deep devotion accompanied by the choir to celebrate the Konkani mass.   While Rev. Fr. Henry Alva, the main celebrant led the mass, Fr. Roshan D’Souza’s evocative and passionate homily stirred the hearts and minds of the congregation.  The co-celebrants of this mass were Fr. Edwin D’Souza, our Spiritual Director who blessed and distributed candles to all sponsors, Fr. Baptist D’Sa, Fr. Denis D’Souza, Fr. Andrew Lewis and Fr. Boniface Furtado.  Sr. Ferdinanda, our most ardent supporter attended the religious ceremonies as well as the cultural program.  The Eucharistic celebrations were made even more exceptional as the rafters of the church resonated with the effortless and harmonious choir led by the immensely talented Merlyn Rodrigues.  Gerry D’Mello, multi talented Konkani writer and strong supporter of MAC welcomed the congregation at the beginning of the Holy Mass and thanked all those who supported the church ceremony, at the end.

The cultural program commenced at Pope John Paul II hall with some snacks and a heartfelt welcome by the dynamic and incomparable President of MAC, Manohar Pais.  Manohar highlighted the prominence of Monthi Fest in our culture, thanked the clergy, sponsors, volunteers and performers for their abundant generosity, invaluable support, valuable time and energy and then introduced two outstanding and gifted youngsters, Juan D’Souza and Linton Pinto.  Juan and Linton were the emcees of the Monthi Fest cultural program and they were shining stars who lit up the stage with their wit, enthusiasm and innate bond with the audience.  The program encompassed magnificently written and acted comedy skits, exquisite traditional and contemporary dances in striking costumes, captivating songs transporting the audience in reminiscent journeys to their hometowns and symphonic band music by enthusiastic and talented youngsters.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great.  Because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know a second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.”  This is what Merlyn Rodrigues; our celebrated choirmaster exemplifies and practices.  Quietly and fervently working in the shadows, Merlyn has brought forth music that has touched hearts, uplifted souls and provided an unparalleled serenity lifting listeners to another dimension. In recognition of Merlyn’s numerous contributions, MAC instituted an award to honor her during the Monthi Fest celebrations, a ceremony that was skillfully and graciously conducted by Manohar Pais.  Merlyn was bestowed a framed “Letter of Distinction” in Konkani, a Plaque and gorgeous silk shawl by present and past presidents of MAC as a mark of respect and tribute.

Education contributes to economic success, personal growth, awareness, understanding and nation-building.  The Mangalorean Association of Canada uses its resources to impact and influence the lives of students seeking higher education.  The youth in our community are an indispensable part of our future and legacy and in support of this investment, the Scholarship Program was established.  The 2019 winners of the Scholarship Program were Terence D’Souza and Cassandra D’Cunha.  Terence was awarded CAD 1000 and Cassandra was awarded CAD 500 and both are talented youngsters with an incredible work ethic and priorities and determined focus on their career paths.  The sponsors of the top scholarship award were Vincent and Prescilla Machado, committed supporters of the association.  Both have generously championed events such as the Annual Social and the Monthi Fest for the past three years.  The sponsors of the second scholarship award were Reginald and Mary Fernandes, dedicated supporters of the program since its inception.  Both have stood by the association and volunteered their time, energy and skills.

Dinner was a splendid array of delicious vegetarian delicacies such as Pothrade, vegetarian cutlets, pasta, lentils, pickles, okra, black chickpeas and the eagerly anticipated and awaited “Vorn”, a concoction of lentils, coconut milk, jaggery and cashews.  Konkan Delite surpassed all expectations with their catered meal and the guests commended the quality and taste of this authentic Mangalorean meal.  The Monthi Fest celebrations ended with Laudate and the cheers of a satisfied audience.  A resounding salute and thanks to the participation and selfless commitment of the Executive Committee, organizers and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this event an astounding success.

Click below for pictures:

MAC to honour Merlyn Rodrigues during ‘Monthi Fest’ on Sept 8th

The Monthi Fest is of special importance to the Catholic community residing in Canada, as it celebrates not only the birthday of the mother of Jesus Christ but also the new harvest. Through this feast celebration, people demonstrate unity and solidarity in the Catholic faith, their rich ethnic heritage and work towards enriching their children’s love of Konkani culture. 

The Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) to whom this pioneer venture is attributed to, is organizing the event on Sunday, September 8 at the St. Maximilian Kolbe Church followed by a cultural programme at John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre in Mississauga. Children are encouraged to bring flowers at 3.30 pm to offer to Mother Mary and sweets will be distributed to the participants. A Konkani High Mass will be celebrated by over 6 priests including Fr Henry Alva OFM.Cap.Provincial of the Franciscan Capuchins of ‘Mary Mother of Good Shepherd’ province, in the region English speaking Canada as the main celebrant. Renowned Konkani singers in Canada will join the angelic choir under the dynamic leadership of acclaimed musician Merlyn Rodrigues. 

This year, the Konkani community in Greater Toronto and surrounding areas will be privileged to celebrate their most cherished ‘Monthi Fest’ witnessing a unique honour bestowed on Merlyn Rodrigues, popularly known as the Konkani Nightingale of Canada, for her immense contribution for the community through her great talent of music. This is the first time ever MAC is instituting such honour. 

Konkani singer Merlyn Rodrigues has always chosen to keep a low profile.   That does not mean her contribution as a Konkani singer is insignificant or is not recognized by connoisseurs of Konkani music. Those who have heard and seen her singing vouch for her mellifluent voice etched in their memory. Born and raised in Mangaluru, Merlyn is the second among six children of the late Ligoury D’Souza and the late Alice D’Souza from the renowned parish of Derebail, Mangaluru. She is married to Lancy Rodrigues and they have a son and daughter and two grand children. 

Merlyn has been singing since her childhood days. Started singing in the church choir since high school, which gave her an opportunity to hone her music talents. She joined St. Dominic Church choir , Ashoknagar when the new church was built in 1970 and was choir leader for over 8 years before she moved to Abu Dhabi after completing her studies in search of greener pastures. She met her life partner Lancy Rodrigues in Abu Dhabi who remained as her great supporter in all her extra-curricular activities in the church as well as other cultural events. 

Merlyn fondly remembers and wishes to express her gratitude for the encouragement that she received from the parish priest late Fr Reginald Cardoza who introduced her to the late Patrick Carlo , a renowned musician at Bishop’s House, Kodialbail, Mangaluru and the late Fr Walter Albuquerque S J from the Retreat House , who were instrumental in training her and enhancing her talent in singing and music.  

After moving to Abu Dhabi she was a member of St Joseph’s Church choir for 15 years and choir conductor for over 8 years . During this time , she had the privilege of conducting the choir for the celebration Mass in Latin for the   late Bishop Bernard Gremoli’s 50th priesthood anniversary and 25years as a Bishop and was also recognized for her services with a Certificate of Papal Blessing from Rome. 

Merlyn was also Executive committee member of Konkan Cultural Organization (KCO Abu Dhabi ) since its formation in 1995, contributed to the cultural events organized by KCO and was the choir conductor for Monthi Fest and monthly Konkani Mass until she immigrated to Canada. 

Apart from the Church activities she also participated in the activities and concerts organized by the following groups in Abu Dhabi:

*          Abu Dhabi Choral Group

*          Indian Ladies Association

*          Khaleej Times Women’s’ Association

*          Karnataka Sangha – Managing Committee member 

After moving to Canada she joined the St Francis Xavier’s Church Choir in 2001 and has been singing with this group until now. She was one of the founding members of the Mangalore Association of Canada and has been conducting the Konkani choir for over 15years. She took an active role in singing with Sangeeth Samraat Henry D’Souza during Lorna Henry Live in Concert in Canada organized by Radio Mango. 

She also took lead in organizing Konkani Choral singing at the ‘Voices for Christ’ event organized by the Knights of Columbus in December 2018 in Mississauga, Canada. Professionally she started her career as a banker working in Abu Dhabi for Khaleej Commercial Bank for 7 years and Citibank for 10 years before moving to Canada and has been working for Royal Bank of Canada for the past 15 years as a Financial Advisor. 

In addition to the honour for Merely Rodrigues, a power-packed cultural programme has been organized to satisfy the clamoring demands of the community. Manohar Pais, the dynamic president of MAC, informed Daijiworld that the preparations are going on in full swing and that there will be a big turnout this year. He urged the Konkani community residing in Mississauga and surrounding areas not to miss this golden opportunity and to attend in large numbers to celebrate our Blessed Virgin Mother’s birthday celebration. An authentic sumptuous vegetarian Mangalurean dinner ‘Novem Jevonn’’ catered by Canada’s one and only ‘Konkan Delite’ will be served at the Monthi Fest. He also informed that only a few tickets are available and requested to buy entry passes at the earliest to avoid disappointment.  Undoubtedly this will be a unique and memorable Konkani event for Konkani Diaspora residing in Toronto and surrounding areas.

Celebrate Monthi Fest on Sep 8th

Come, participate in cultural program

Together we make a DIFFERENCE!  Young people hold the key to a bright new future and legacy and the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) organizes the platform to present, develop and support our youth.

The Nativity event is one such platform where we strive to unleash the immense talents and skills within our community and MAC is extending an invitation to our youth to step forward and display these wondrous gifts in the field of music, dance and acting.  You can do a solo song or dance, or actively get your friends and family to participate in a group performance.  Who does not like a good laugh and entertainment? A fun skit or comedy act is always welcome and appreciated. Performances can be in English, Hindi or Konkani.

The Nativity event on September 8, 2019 is the perfect opportunity to display your community spirit, your creativity and your artistic deftness.  We encourage your engagement and support in this colossal initiative that MAC is organizing as way of unifying and strengthening our community.

Please reach out to any of the following people either by email or phone, if you would like to participate or have an act you want to perform:

Vidya Alvares – – 6472879004

Prescilla D’souza – – 6476361351

Laveena D’souza – – 2892326636

John D’souza – – 6474669235 

Best Wishes,

Manohar Pais

President – Mangalorean Association of Canada


Report by Janet D’souza
Photographs by Ivan Lobo

“I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful.” Pete Hamill

Nary a cloud in the sky nor a hint of precipitation but just a whisper of a delightful breeze and bright warm sunshine!  It was as if God himself had painted the sky a scintillating blue and blessed the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) with a flawless day to bring the community together.  MAC hosted yet another successful event, the Annual Family Picnic on June 22, 2019 at the Meadowvale Conservation Area, Mississauga. 

The festivities began with a prayer and an opening address from Vidya Alvares, the emcee for the day.  Little kids enthusiastically played Passing the Parcel and won treats and gifts for their participation.  Animated and excited children ran all over the park to capture the scattered multi colored leis in the Caterpillar Hunt game.  The creative Step Folder game tested the agility and balance of teenagers who hopped, tethered precariously on one foot yet buoyed by shouts of encouragement raced towards the finish line.   Our seniors came in large numbers to test their aim and strength and displayed their awesome prowess as they knocked the trolls in the Wooden Trip a Troll game.

What is a picnic without the quintessential group games such as volleyball, throw ball and tug-of-war? Women rolled up their sleeves and prepared to play a vigorous and aggressive yet enjoyable game of throw ball.  Men flexed their muscles and demonstrated killer instincts and a winning edge during the volley ball match.  The perfect summer day deserves the ideal water game, the Water Balloon Toss.  Partners formed a line up and faced their partners.  Each coached their partners on the throw and catch technique.  It was gratifying and fun to watch the intent expressions on the competitors faces as they focused on getting the water balloon across to their partners without dropping it.  Tug O War – that Olympian heavy rope symbolizing sheer brute strength, technique and collaboration mobilized men, women and teens to put on their best performance. 

All this exercise and sport made the participants and their families very hungry.  While the tables were being prepared, Manohar Pais, President of the Mangalorean Association of Canada thanked the people for their involvement and patience and also shared details of the 12th Annual MFSI Cricket Tournament.  Proceeds from this tournament will go towards fighting hunger.  Lunch was then served after a short prayer and was a delicious buffet of Mangalorean dishes such as Baffat, Italian dishes such as pasta, salads, beans and vegetables.  To quench the thirst and cool the palates, MAC generously served scoops of ice cream, a treat much enjoyed by everyone.  MAC members and volunteers sold Bingo tickets while Paul Mathias, a magician when it comes to delectable watermelons, cut and served slices of the mouthwatering fruit to all. 

While the volley ball and throw ball final matches ensued, the MAC ladies prepared a delightful blend of tea and served it with biscuits. Satiated and replete with a hot cuppa, it was time to play Bingo.  Winners were thrilled to make some money while resting under the shade of the gazebo.  As the sun descended into the distant horizon, people folded their umbrellas, packed their belongings, waved goodbyes and left tired but content, smiling and happy to share in the camaraderie and joy of being outdoors with family and friends.

A huge shout out and sincere appreciation to Vidya Alvares, Vice President, for her inimitable emceeing of the event, Ivan Lobo for capturing animated and priceless moments with his camera, and Charles D’Souza, Sports Coordinator for organizing and coordinating the program and games.  MAC was tremendously successful in bringing the community together, providing a venue and a platform for new immigrants and members to mingle, get to know each other and have a fun day as well.  Our many thanks to the members and volunteers who devoted their time, energy and skills to help accomplish a sensational and fun event.

Click below for pictures: