Alberta: Over 140 South Asian, especially people of Mangalorean origin, living in Calgary celebrated the much loved event ‘Nativity – Monti Fest’ recently at St. Thomas More Church, NE, Calgary, Alberta.
Fr. Malcolm Dsouza was the main celebrant for the mass, which was concelebrated by Fr. John Pinto, OCD and Fr. Godwin Pinto, OCD of St. Thomas More parish, and Fr. Willaim Monis, Assistant pastor of Bonaventure Parish. The choir was led by Anthony & family, Steven, Raina, Jasmine, Wilson and others.
The celebration began with the blessing of Novem by Fr. Godwin Pinto, along with the procession with children and grownups carrying flowers and Mother Mary’s statue to the church while singing “Sokkod Sangatha Melliam”.
In his homily, Fr. John Pinto emphasized that following Christ involves walking the path of suffering which is pattern for us after the example of His holy mother Mary. With Peter, we are called to accept Jesus as the redeeming Savior. He concluded his homily in Konkani making the event relevant for the day.
After the mass the crowd gathered at the parish hall to participate in “Novem Jevchem”, cultural programs and entertainment. The crowd was welcomed to the hall by Jerry Rodrigues in Konkani. Prior to the consumption of ‘Novem’, Fr. William Monis said a prayer of blessing and Jerry Moras highlighted the meaning of Novem.
This year’s highlight of evening was the skit written and directed by Master Craig Martis on Our Lady of Vellankani. Craig and his team put great effort from recording, staging to presenting the show. Signers Nikita Tauro, Viska Tauro, Jasmine D’Souza and Vincent Pinto entertained and engaged the crowd throughout the evening.
The most important part of the program was the sumptuous and traditional Mangalorean food prepared and served by generous families in the community which included ‘sonne’, ‘bhende’, ‘karathe’, ‘sango’, ‘channa rice’, ‘karom’, ‘vorn’, ‘lonchem’.
Jerry Moras and Jerry Rodrigues compered the event. Additionally, as a fun activity, the first fruits and vegetables were auctioned and a 50/50 game was conducted.
Finally, Fr. John Pinto delivered the vote of thanks for all who were involved in making this programme a grand success. The program ended with a Konkani masala dance. The event was a success under the guidance and direction of Fr. John Pinto, OCD.