Hyderabad, Nov 10: From the 1970s, the Mangaloreans in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, used to meet informally for potluck meals, picnics and fun get-togethers. In 1998, with the guidance of the late Fr Henry D’Souza, some enterprising Mangalureans mooted the plan to form an Association of all Kanara Catholics as the language and culture was common for the Catholics of this region. The Association was given different names over the period and finally registered as Kanara Catholic Welfare Association. The aim was to keep the culture and language alive among the members and families.
The welfare activities were to reach out to the needy among the members and help in case of medical, financial and educational needs.
Kanara Catholic Welfare Association (KCWA) conducts four major events every year:
• Monthi Fest celebration on the first Sunday after September 8.
The AGM is also conducted the same day.
• Mass for the departed souls of the association members and departed family members after all souls day.
• A picnic and fun get together in January or February.
• Mass for the welfare of the children of the association for the new academic year is
celebrated in June or July
Monthi Fest was celebrated this year with veneration of the statue of Infant Mary, blessing of the new paddy with singing of traditional songs in Konkani. Fr Praveen and Fr Lancelot Menezes, both Konkani speaking Mangalorean priests were present for the celebrations.
The statue was then taken in procession to the church, accompanied by singing devotional hymns in adoration of Infant Mary to the church and placed in front of the altar
The Mass was celebrated in Konkani and the choir sang melodious Konkani hymns. Rev Fr Praveen gave an inspirational Homily which impressed all who were present. Little children carried the offertory items in procession to the altar. The church was full as the gathering for the Mass was beyond the estimated strength and many members had to attend the Mass standing on the verandah.
After the Mass, refreshments were served to all present. After that refreshing break the members assembled in the community hall in the church compound for the AGM. President Alwyn Menezes welcomed the gathering to the AGM. He informed that 2023 is the silver jubilee year of KCWA and plans are being made to conduct the celebrations in the first week of December. General secretary Stany Mendonca gave the annual report. After that the Treasurer Norman Bennis gave a report of the accounts of the association. Open house was declared and conducted by the vice president Ashley Coelho. He informed about the prospective plans for the silver jubilee celebrations. Anju D’Silva proposed the vote of thanks.
While the AGM was on, games and entertainment were conducted for the children by Rachita D’Souza and Anna D’Souza. Merit awards with medals and certificates were presented to children of the association who had scored more than 75% marks in the academic exams in the past academic year.
Lunch was served after the AGM. Some families of the association prepared traditional food items to give a traditional Mangalurean touch to the menu.
After the sumptuous lunch, there was a singing session led by Florence Mascarenhas and friends, who sang traditional Konkani songs and the crowd joined in. After that, tombola was conducted by Mercy D’Souza and team that kept all exited. The celebration concluded thereafter in that fun filled spirit.