Mangalorean Association of Canada celebrates Monthi Fest

News: Cynthia Lewis

Pics: Lyod Rego / Aaron Fernandes / Cynthia Lewis

Canada, Sep 16: ‘Sakkad Sangatha Melyan, Sakkad Lagin Saryan’. This hymn refreshes and evokes childhood memories of every Konkani Catholic individual i.e., collecting flowers from their own garden as well as from neighbours, carrying flowers in trays/plates {artistically arranged by mothers} to church for the novena, and running to get sugar cane after the mass on Monthi Fest day. In continuing with this tradition, an online Novena for nine days from August 30 – September 07, 2023, under the leadership of its spiritual director, Fr Roshan D’Souza, was organised by the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC). The MAC thanked Fr Roshan for taking this initiative and bringing us all into the Nove mood. Monthi Fest was celebrated in grandeur and tradition on September 10 at the Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Mississauga. The Mangalurean community of all ages - young and old, babies and seniors - were gathered in their colourful Indian attire / dress for the flower showering ceremony at the John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre at the Maximilian Kolbe Church premises. Many children and parents with their babies/toddlers had brought the best flowers with them, with MAC also having provided flowers to those kids who could not bring them. It was a pleasure to see the smiles and enthusiasm of these kids towards honoring Mama Mary.

While the choir sang ‘Sokkad Sangatha Melyan, Sokkad Lagin Soryan’, little children entered the hall carrying their flower baskets with their tiny hands and placed the best flower at the foot of Mother Mary. Their enthusiasm as well as the glow on their faces took us back to our good old days. John D’Souza welcomed the congregation on behalf of the Mangalorean Association of Canada, and quickly briefed the children about the significance of Monthi Fest. After the blessing of the sheaves of grain, children began showering the flowers to the hymn ‘Moriyek Hogolsiyan’. As this ceremony ended, the congregation then walked to the church in a procession singing Mother Mary’s hymns. The church echoed the melodious singing of the Konkani choir led by its choir master, Merlyn Rodrigues. Rony D’Souza, the liturgical coordinator, welcomed the congregation. While Fr Henry Alva was the main celebrant of the Mass, Fr Roshan D’Souza delivered a reminiscent and passionate homily to the faithful. The co-celebrants of the mass were Fr Andrew Lewis, Fr Wilson Andrade, and Deacon Sarfaraj Pinto. After the Mass, Charlotte D’Souza delivered the vote of thanks and blessed candles were distributed to all our Sponsors, and the Muddhoms.

The cultural programme commenced at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Centre after the Mass; light snacks and soft drinks were served at every table. The youth managed the e-ticketing system very well and made sure that every attendee wore their assigned wrist band. The programme was emceed by energetic youth, Elroy Crasta and Lauren Vinita Soares, who kept the audience in control with their witty and enthusiastic banter. President Maxim D’Mello was called onto the stage and MAC’s theme song was displayed on the screens at this time. After the theme song, Maxim welcomed the audience. To begin the program, the tiny tots with their angelic and gracious moves danced to the tune of ‘Morye muje mogali maaye, besav dee sorginche’, choreographed by Nina Crasta and the performers were Rhea Saldanha, Emma Saldanha, Deann Pereira, Antonio Peres, Jasmine D’Souza, Pearl D’Souza, Rianna D’Souza, Savanah D’Souza, Julia Noronha, Yohan Soans, Zach Soans and Zoey Soans. The MAC ladies performed a folk dance ‘Suryo udevn aailo’, choreographed by the talented Jasmine Monteiro, performed by Carrol D’Souza, Loveena D’Souza, Pamela Soans, Christine D’Souza, Cynthie Clara Fernandes, Sunita Aranha, Juliet D’Souza, Candida Goveas, Cynthia Lewis, and Charlotte D’Souza. Leo Rego and Herman Pinto performed a hilarious skit ‘Pittache Pedru’.

Being an ardent supporter of education and in continuing with the annual scholarship programme, the MAC gave away three scholarships this year. The scholarship ceremony was handled by Suneeta D’Souza. While Ethan D’Souza was the 1st recipient of the MAC Scholarship of $1,000 for 1st year university students, Bianca Pereira was awarded $500 as the 2nd recipient. The new scholarship introduced this year for 2nd year university students was awarded to Gail Cardoza, in the amount of $1,000.

Dinner was a glorious array of exquisite Mangalorean vegetarian delicacies such as pathrode, chone suke, alsande suke, bhendi suke, rice, daal, pickle, and the most important dessert of our culture, ‘vorne’. All these items were lovingly cooked and catered by Loy D’Souza of Konkan Delite, who always surpasses the expectations of all with the quality and taste of the authentic Mangalurean meal. The cultural programme continued after the dinner with a beautiful Konkani song ‘Mog Tuzo Kitlo Ashelon’ sung by Prakrithi Monteiro, followed by a Bollywood dance ‘Tere Vaaste Falak se Main Chand Launga’ by Abigail Peres, Allison Peres, and Adelyn Mathias. Jasmine Monteiro, the young talented artiste and choreographer, danced to the tune of ‘Mere Soniya’, which was a joy to watch. The next performance was a medley from youth ‘Bombay Meri Hein, Despacito (Konkani), Maria Pitache’ by Andrea D’Souza (choreographer), Charlotte D’Cunha, Elvis D’Souza (choreographer), Kimberlyn DeSouza, Oswald Parmar, Savvy Sequeira, Shannon D’Cunha and Wayne Alphonso. Lillian Fernandes, Lloyd Pinto, Larson Pinto, and Linton Pinto played melodious songs ‘Let it be, Gulabi Aanken, and Leonara', which was music to everyone’s ears. The next performers, Prakrati Monteiro and Shona D’Souza, danced beautifully to the Konkani songs ‘Dharya kushin’ and ‘Hein Manglur Amchen’. Jasmine D’Souza and Caitlyn Noronha’s dance performance to the tune of ‘Kaala Chasma’ was the talk among the audience. The performances ended with the Konkani skit ‘Chutney’, performed by Alphonse D’Souza, Santosh D’Souza, and Rony Monteiro, which kept the audience laughing. Amora Monteiro provided background music for the skit.

Ronald Fernandes took the lead in the felicitation of the MAC cricket team (runners-up in the MFSI Cricket Tournament) and called upon Sanjay Castelino (captain) on the stage who introduced the team to the audience. Khush Multani, the sponsor of the MAC team’s jerseys, was also present at the stage. A 50/50 draw was conducted before the end of the program from which half of the proceeds will be donated to the ‘White Doves’ situated in Mangaluru who are taking care of the kids in need from Manipur, India.

The vote of thanks was delivered by Cynthia Lewis, the general secretary of MAC, who thanked the main sponsor Vijay & Prema Dante (Udupi Madras Café) and rest of the sponsors Khush Multani (, Charlotte D’Souza, Vincent & Prescilla Machado, Reginald & Mary Fernandes, Flavian & Miriam Pinto (Sun Life), Vincent & Rosetta Pereira, Ravi Fernandes (Trinity Auto & Tire Centre Inc.), Aloysius & Judy D’Souza (Konkan Delite), Edwin D’Souza (, Ronald & Dorothy Rego, Stan Goveas (Rock of Colours), Felix D’Souza (D’Souza Ansher Mechanical Serv. Inc.), Frank & Clara Serrao (Dixie Toyota), Nelson D’Costa (Financial Services), Francis & Sunitha Aranha (Remax Realty), Aaron & Lillian Fernandes, Aster Fernandes, Leo & Precilla D’Cunha, Maxim & Prescilla D’Mello (Maxpress Financial Solutions Inc.); many muddhoms and volunteers for their contribution towards the success of Monthi Fest 2023, which was attended by nearly 500 people. The Monthi Fest cultural event ended with the singing of ‘Laudate’ and well wishes from the audience.

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