Mangalorean Catholic Association-DMV celebrates Monthi Fest


Media Release

Washington, Sep 21: The feast of the Nativity of Our Lady was celebrated on September 11, by members of the Mangalorean Catholic Association of Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia (MCA-DMV). The annual celebration took place in person this year at the St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Indian Head, MD, with a medium sized crowd. Last year, the event was celebrated in conjunction with MCA East Coast USA and held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As announced earlier, MCA DMV took all the precautions to hold the event by practicing social distancing, adhering to the local guidelines and wearing masks, as needed, to keep families safe. The MCA committee member Nirmala Pinto the MCA treasurer Nicole Racadag took care of registration of members and guests as they came in. The service began with the veneration of Infant Mary at the Church’s outdoor grotto at 11:15 am. While the men and women arrived in traditional Indian attire, the children lined up outside the church carrying flower baskets with fresh flowers from their gardens to venerate baby Mother Mary. The choir was led by MCA vice president Clint Almeida and MCA secretary Reynel Castelino, with Malin Mendonca giving accompaniments on the keyboard and guitars for the Konkani hymns ‘Sokkad Sangatha Melyan’ and ‘Moriyek Hogolsiyan.’ Fr Brian Coelho, the parish priest of St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church and Fr Tony D’Souza, parish priest of St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Washington DC, blessed the children and the ‘Noven.’

Then, the priests led the procession of attendees into the Church for the Mass. The Mass brochure, outlining the programme and hymns, was designed and distributed by Merlyn Mathias, MCA committee member, prior to the service. The Mass was delivered in both Konkani and English, with the hymns being sung mostly in Konkani. During the Mass, a special tribute was paid to the 2,977 lives lost on September 11, 2001, to the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. The choir team sang as families with children lined up for the offertory reading with various gift items, as per tradition. At the end of the Mass, MCA president V James Dante thanked the members for their attendance and participation, despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic.

The attendees then proceeded to the Church Hall, which had been decorated by MCA volunteers. The dinner tables were decorated with banana leaves and other traditional display items by Anil and Priscilla D’Souza. Joe Pinto had managed the kitchen and kept the food warm, while the Mass was being celebrated. Fr Brian Coelho blessed the traditional ‘Noven Jevon,’ prepared by MCA families, and everyone began feasting on a menu that included Sambar, Pathrode, Moong curry, Bende Sukkha, Sono and Tendli Sukkha (Black Channa), Sango (Beans), Karam (cucumber and coconut mix), rice and pickle. The meal was topped off with the delicious, traditional Mangalurean dessert, ‘vorn.’

Following the lunch, attendees relished the opportunity to reconnect with each other in-person after more than 18 months of staying apart. According to one of the MCA members, “I felt very safe attending because I knew the MCA would enforce social distancing policies by requiring face masks indoors, separating people in the church pews, and organizing contactless activities like Karaoke and Housie. Mostly, I was excited to share our Mangalurean traditions with my four-year-old daughter. I didn’t want her to miss out on the activities I did growing up.”

Later, the committee organized a Housie game, followed by everyone enjoying freshly made tea and savory snacks samosas and spring rolls. The event concluded with president Dante thanking the MCA committee members and attendees who prepared food, performed, organized the event, and volunteered to set up and tear down. “We had this event despite the many challenges that are being presented by the COVID-19 Delta variant in the USA,” said Dante. “We are grateful to our members and their families for helping us keep up our traditions alive, even though we are so far away from India.”

 

 

 

 

  

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Comment on this article

  • Stany Carvalho, Mangalore

    Sun, Oct 03 2021

    Congratulations to the Committee for putting up this event to continue the tradition of Monthi fest in USA. I have been following the news of many of the Mangalorean communities abroad and very proud to recognize Mr. Dante as the President leading the team to put up events amidst all odds, when others are being skeptical. I also came to know through my musician friends from Mangalore that he also organized the grand musical event by Mangalorean musicians in Washington DC for the first time in the history of the association. Kudos to Mr. Dante and his committee. Great team work. We Mangaloreans are very proud of you.

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  • Brian D'Souza, Crofton, Maryland

    Thu, Sep 23 2021

    Thank you to the committee for putting yet again a nice event for the members and keeping the tradition alive. Well done!

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  • Ryan Pinto, Udupi/Abu Dhabi

    Wed, Sep 22 2021

    Congratulations to the entire team in hosting a successful event amidst covid fears

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  • Richard, Karkala/Richmond

    Wed, Sep 22 2021

    We could not attend the event this time, primarily due to Delta variant and age factors. But it is so nice to see so many families with children coming forward to attend the function because the association practiced all the required measures as they announced. It is apparent that the association committee organizes their events very well to attract large crowds normally, even with having a fee to attend. Last time, I attended with family was when the Mangalorean musicians came over to celebrate Monthi fest in a large auditorium in Virginia. That was 2 years back. Well done committee, congratulations.

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  • Cyril Menezes, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 22 2021

    So glad to know that you are guys are keeping the tradition alive abroad. God bless you.

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  • Max Pinto, Ottawa

    Wed, Sep 22 2021

    Excellent article. Happy reading about the traditional delicacies, that is hard to make here.

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  • Carl Noronha, Bajpe/Michigan, USA

    Wed, Sep 22 2021

    Congratulations to all the Mangalorean families living in DC in celebrating Monthi fest amidst all odds, but following safe measures. Kudos to the committee for putting up the event.

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  • John D'Souza, Mangalore/Australia

    Wed, Sep 22 2021

    It is great to see that the Mangaloreans in Washington DC, USA are celebrating the Monthi fest event by taking all the precautions needed to keep the families safe. It is very important at this time. Congratulations to the committee and their families to continuing the tradition over in USA, home away from home. Best .!

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