Pune: Mangalorean Catholic Association Celebrates Monti Fest

News and pics from Karen Mathias
For Daijiworld Media Network—Pune (RD/CN)

Pune, Sep 22: The Mangalorean Catholic community here, under the auspices of the city unit of Mangalorean Catholic Association (MCA), celebrated Monti Fest with traditional splendour and gaiety, recently at Our Lady Consoler of the Afflicted (OLCA) Church, Pimpri.

The programme began with blessing of the new corn by Fr Joe Mathias SJ, director, NVSC and spiritual director of the association. Devotees and children honoured the blessed Virgin Mary by showering flowers and entered the church in a procession to the rendition of popular hymn, 'Sokkod sangatha melyan'.

The Holy Eucharistic service was offered by Fr Joe Mathias along with Fr Walter Saldanha Kirem, administrator, NVSC, Fr Roque D’Sa, parish priest of Modankamp and vicar general of Bantwal deanery, Fr Felix Monteiro, chaplain of Fr Muller Hospital, Kankanady, Fr Paul D'Silva Trasi of Baroda diocese, Fr Casmiro Coelho of Udaipur diocese and Fr Leo D'Monte, parish priest, OLCA church, Pimpri.

Fr Monteiro preached a stirring homily stressing the importance of the festival as a spiritual as well as temporal family get-together. He reminded the faithful that Mother Mary is also the epitome of the female child who unfortunately, is not welcomed in many homes today. Fr Monteiro also exhorted the faithful to express solidarity with suffering brethren in Orissa and the flood-affected people of Bihar. He commended the efforts of MCA in bringing together scattered community members.
The melodious choir was led by members of the JDV Konkan Sabha. The cultural programme that followed was compeered by Pravin Pinto. John D'Souza, assistant general manager, Corporation Bank, city zonal office, was the chief guest of the occasion. Aloysius Saldanha, president of MCA, welcomed the gathering. 

In his speech, the chief guest stressed the need to keep one's mother tongue and cultural heritage alive. Celia D'Souza presented awards to members’ children who had succeeded academically in 2007 - 08. Harold Lobo, editor, MCA fortnightly newsletter, as well as marriage bureau coordinator, invited the infusion of fresh and young minds in the functioning of the MCA.

Various dances, reading of the association's annual report, staging of the comedy 'Keppyanchim Kestavan',  a solo song, and jokes, formed the entertainment for the evening. Ronald Menezes proposed the vote of thanks. Fr Roque D’Sa blessed the traditional meal 'Novem Jevann' prepared for the occasion, and all the attendees were treated to a sumptuous traditional meal.

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