Chicago, Sep 11: The Mangalorean Konkan Christian Association (MKCA) celebrated its 21st annual Monthi Fest celebration at St Hubert’s Church Hall at Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Monti Fest celebration is unique to the Mangalorean community. The festival is like thanksgiving in the USA and in India, it is celebrated in different forms like Onam in Kerala, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Nag Panchami, Teej, Rath Yathra, Hornbill, etc. Mangalureans celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary’s feast and give Thanks to Mother Mary for gifting us with Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world and providing with a new crop of the season. During this time, new crop is blessed and distributed to the devotees, who in turn take them home and have a family get-together to celebrate the birth of Mother Mary.
There was a general Holy Eucharist, where the MKCA members and guests attended. The first and second readings at the Mass were read by the members of MKCA.
The cultural programme was initiated by the compeer of the programme past president, Steven D’Souza. He requested Fr Henry Sequeira to bless the ‘Novem’, who praised the association’s effort to keep the Mangalurean culture alive in the US blessed the new crop, and distributed them to the families gathered. All the participants received freshly prepared ‘Novem Roce’ as a token of sharing the new crop.
This was followed by the offering of flowers to Infant Mary by the children. All the members gathered and sang the beautiful hymns of ‘Sokkad Sangatam Mallyam’ and ‘Moriek Hogolsiyam’.
Welcome note from the founder president of MKCA, Dr Austin Prabhu. In his welcome address, he addressed the gathering about the importance and preservation of cultural heritage. He challenged the audience to teach their children the Konkani language and create an awareness of our cultural heritage for the next generation. There was a minute of silence observed in honour of the association’s beloved departed founder member Mark Rodrigues. The president highlighted their great contributions from the beginning of this association and in the recent past.
He introduced the current executive committee - Patcy Lasrado; secretary: Savio Pais and treasurer James Saldhana. There was a call for the formation of a new executive committee and the following members came forward to be the new executive committee members: president – Pragati Pinto; vice president – Leonard Lobo Shenoy; secretary – Savio Pais; joint secretary – Nula D’Abreo; treasurer – James Saldanha.
The compere of the programme, past president Steeven D’Souza, introduced and congratulated the newly formed executive committee to the audience. He along with Patcy Lasrado conducted games for the children and winners were facilitated by the emcee. There was a housie-housie game for the general audience, where kids and adults presented spirited participation.
Savio Pais thanked the organizing committee for their relentless support in the success of the program. He recognized the efforts of the members and their families in preparing great Mangalurean ethnic food for the programme.
Fr Henry Sequeira blessed the food prepared by the members and guests of MKCA. The programme culminated with a sumptuous ethnic dinner. Under effective DJing by Queenie Mendonca, the audience enjoyed the dance to the tunes of Konkani, Tulu, Hindi, Kannada, and Spanish songs.