News: Clarence D’Cruz
Pics: Roschelle D’Souza
Houston, Sep 16: Houston Konkan Catholic Association (HKCA) celebrated Monthi Fest on September 9 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Missouri City, Texas, USA. Fr Joy James OSH celebrated the Mass assisted by two deacons present. Statue of Infant Mother Mary, beautifully decorated on the altar by Sheryl and Aakash Jacob and the Novem was blessed by Fr Joy at the Mass. The readings were read out by Meryl Pinto and Ronnie Crasta. Cantoring in between readings was done by Samika Sequeira. Offertories were offered by Allen D’Souza and family. After Mass, the community led by Dalphine D’Souza and young adults carrying flowers, candles and Bambino of Mother Mary went in procession singing ‘Sokkodd Sangata Melleam’ to the adjoining parish hall. At the hall ‘Moriek Hogollsiam’ was sung while flowers were offered by one and all.
The evening event commenced with MC Matthew D’Souza taking over the proceedings and asking the attendees to collect their name-tags and take their respective seats. Clarence D’Cruz then welcomed all the attendees and introduced new members of HKCA. Fr Joy then led the gathering in prayer and asked the Lord’s blessings on all those present.
Next Novem arranged by Ronnie Crasta was served to everyone present. There were also refreshments served in the form of Bonda and Tea (Chai) /Tang.
The cultural programme soon commenced with a melodious rendition of hit Konkani numbers like ‘Rosaline’, ‘Shegunachi Sunn’, ‘Band Vaaztha Banddar Valta’ etc sung by Ovita Fernandes, Amith Fernandes, Allen D’Souza, Clarence D’Cruz and Ivan Gonsalves. Allen D’Souza also gave a brief overview on the traditional wedding Sado, which was worn by Merryl Fernandes enacting as a bride along with groom Ketan Pattani. This was followed by an energetic dance to popular Konkani numbers performed by Leslie Mathias, Nisha D’Souza, Matthew D’Souza, Merryl Fernandes, Ian Suares and Shiny Lewis. Jennifer D’Souza choreographed the dances. Thereafter it was time for young adults Anessa Mathias, Elissa Farias, Evan Farias, Daniel Fernandes, Kien Pattani, Kiera Pattani, Nicole Pinto, Roma Quadros, Trinity Fernandes to take over the dance floor and rock the crowd. They danced to the recent hit Bollywood songs to the delight and applause of the crowd. The dances were choreographed by Mariet Coutinho. DJ Ketan Pattani then had the crowd grooving to popular Konkani, English and Bollywood numbers as everyone mingled and socialized.
Soon it was time for dinner. Allen Carvalho thanked the volunteers who had prepared the sumptuous traditional food for the event. Grace before meals was said by Clementina Furtado and the dinner counters were opened for the crowd. The food was authentic Mangalorean fare cooked by members from the Food Committee coordinated by Ancy D’Souza. There was a sumptuous vegetarian spread consisting of rice, chapathi, kuvalo curry (ash gourd), mixed fruit curry, karathe (bitter gourd also known as karela), sone sukken (black chickpeas), moong sukkho (green gram), saango sukken (long beans), karamb (cucumber), paneer tikka masala, avial (yoghurt curry), sandige (fries) and pickle. Delicious pasta was also served. For dessert, Vorn, a traditional Mangalorean sweet dish was served. Children were also treated to some delicious ice cream.
After dinner, a quiz show for kids was conducted by Nisha D’Souza and chocolates were given to all the kids. Ronnie Crasta then gave the vote of thanks wherein he thanked all the volunteers who made this event possible with their time and energy. He also updated the members on forthcoming HKCA events and asked everyone to take an active part in the organization.
Thereafter Bingo or Housie-Housie was conducted by Merryl Fernandes and prizes were given out to the winners.
Laudate Dominum was sung by Allen D’Souza along with everyone present as the event drew to a close. The event concluded with group photographs being taken. Roschelle D’Souza photographed the event.
Sugarcane samples provided by Maxim Pereira and Haldi Kole (Turmeric leaves) were made available for anyone interested to take home.
This was another beautiful celebration of the feast of Monthi Fest, one that was attended and appreciated in large numbers by HKCA members and guests.
Anyone wanting to join HKCA can do so by going to the 'contact us' section on HKCA website at https://www.hkcaus.org/houston-konkan-catholic-contact-us/ and sending us your details.
More pictures from the event can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1IHEx7CCd4etm5Oi_qMK00pKokpBiWGPx
Links to singing and dancing performances: https://youtu.be/zF6W1nEGFoY