Monti Fest celebrated in a grand manner by MCA-EC
USA: We shall see you on September 10th said the Current President Bernie Pinto-D’Souza back on June 18th at the MCA-EC Annual Summer Picnic. Although September month has come in a flash, however, the MCA-EC( Mangalorean Catholic Association- EC Inc.) board has been working day and night for the past 3 months to celebrate their annually held MonthiFesth program. For those who don’t know what Monti Fest is – it is a Mangalorean tradition to celebrate the nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary.
The program was held on Sept 10th at the newly built St Thomas Syro Malabar Church, Somerset, NJ. For those who want to see what love and faith can do, please do make a visit to this beautiful newly built church. Overheard a child exclaim when she entered the church “Mom is this what Heaven looks like!”. The child made an innocent but honest comparison. We thank Fr Thomas Kadukapillil for giving us the opportunity to have our Monti Fest mass celebrated in this awe-inspiring, beautiful church.
The Comperes for the program were Monthi D’Cunha and Raulson Sequeira. Their combination of beauty and wit, warm personality and humor kept the entire audience smiling, well informed and entertained for the remainder of the program. There was media coverage as well provided by B4U media for some part of the event. Our talented and in-house photographer Christopher Monis was seen prancing around to capture each and every moment along with those precious, frame worthy and picturesque photos. And why picturesque photos you ask, well because of all the people who came all dressed up in their Indian traditional wear. The beautiful saree clad ladies along with the handsome gentlemen in their mundoos / kurtas not to forget the cutiepie kids, all this was a pleasant sight to see. Clayton Monis was the DJ throughout the event, whose fantastic tunes ensured that there was not a dull moment throughout the entirety of the event.
The program started with serving breakfast. The items were batatapoha, sheera served with Tea. This was followed by a mass concelebrated by not 1, not 2 but 6 priests, you read that right 6 priests and a deacon! Spiritual Director Sr Gretta gave a small introduction about Monti Fest just before the mass began. The mass began with the entrance of each Gurkar/Gurkarns holding different colored festive umbrellas led by the general Secretary Sydney Lasrado followed by the Gurkars/Gurkarns. It turned out to be such a grand service not only because of the sheer number of priests but the melodious voices of our choir, the heavenly music played by our musicians – Newton Duarte(keyboard), Raulson Sequeira(Guitar), Shyna Quadros(Violin), Stanley Colaco(Violin) and the grand entry by our Gurkars/Gurkarns holding colorful satris and bringing in our baby Mother Mary. The main celebrant Fr.Archibald who came all the way from Mangalore especially for this program delivered a wonderful sermon which started off in a light-hearted manner by telling a joke. His sermon mainly focused on Mother Mary and what impact and crucial role she played in ensuring that her family was always happy and together. He stressed that we should follow the same path and reach out to Mary whenever needed, since she is our Mother, and she is with us all the way.
After mass, we proceeded for the showering of flowers ceremony. This ceremony as the name suggests is bestowing flowers brought in by the people and this was showered over baby Mother Mary. Our tiny tots led the way and soon everyone followed in bestowing and then singing ‘SakkaddSangathaMellyam and MoriekHogolsia’.
The MothiFesth program is an excellent opportunity to showcase the Mangalorean culture and traditions and with that said the next program was the Cultural program. The current President Bernie Pinto-D’Souza greeted everyone with her warm smile and personality coupled with a wonderful speech. As it is with all things good, beginning something by taking the Lord’s name with a prayer is considered a norm, this cultural program too started with a prayer but a Dance prayer performed by Michelle Dsouza, Melanie Mendonca, Melody Pinto and Clarissa Furtado. This was followed by a song NovenchJeevan sung by the MCA-EC board along with Rony D’Cunha. Rony is a well know singer as we all know, but one never knew that the MCA-EC board had such talented singers as well. The song sung was Novench Jeevan. A few words from that song is listed here.
Novench Jeevan,(Novench Jeevan, Surukarthan,
NovemJevanJevthan, Monshakulaichadisa, Monthichafesta,)
The Cultural program continued with a variety of dances / skits / songs performed. The list is below
Vado / Type / Participants
Moriye Vado & Fatima Vado / Opening Prayer Dance / Melanie, Michelle, Clarissa & Melody
Fatima Vado /Adults dance / Anita, Saritha and team
Divine Mercy & Moriye / Skit / Harry, Eva Aunty & Premila
Divine Mercy & Moriye / Kids Dance/ Kids choreographed by Ms Miriam Rego
MoriyeVado / Skit / Lancy and team
Fatima Vado / Kids dance / Sahanah Sahay and Christina Fernandes
Divine & MoriyeVado / Adult dance / Anita & Pammi
Divine Mercy & Fatima / Skit /Violet, Rodney & Melvy
Bhagevonth Vado / Song/ Kiyasha Mascarenhas
Divine & MoriyeVado /Fusion Dance / Fusion Dance – Pammi and team
KursaVado / Mix Dance / Arun and team
Seeing the wide variety of performances, one can’t thank the Lord enough for bestowing each of those participants with such immense talent. These participants took out time from their hectic schedules to put up such a great show. This clearly goes to show that where there is a will there is a way. The performers were having such a great time performing each act with so much enthusiasm, zeal and enjoyment that not only they were having a good time but also the viewers. We thank each and everyone who participated in putting up such a spectacular show.
Not to forget our special guest singers – Rony and Jasmine D’Cunha, Norbert and Nancy Pereira and musician Adrian Gomes. All these are well-known musicians settled in the Middle East area. We were honored to have them perform at our MonthiFesth. Lunch was served with the following items: Veg Biryani, Hakka noodles, Chana tendli, Avial, Gobi Manchurian, Payasam served with white rice, chapatis and raita.The Cultural program ended with a baila performed by Rony and Jasmine and Norbert Pereira. Everyone got off their chairs and joined in the baila, singing , dancing, shaking their hips and having a great time. MCA-EC surely knows how to celebrate in such a grand, fun-filled, entertaining, unforgettable and world class manner!
The vote of thanks was delivered by Anitha Pinto. After the Cultural program ended Bernie Pinto-D’Souza picked the winning raffle jetBlue tickets, won by Peter Fernandes. And the program concluded with the auction of the flowers and vegetables with our very talented auctioneers Mark Mendonca and Angela Josef. Evening tea/coffee was served with snacks sponsored by Bob and Olivia Vaz (Babco Foods)
MCA-EC organization is committed to bringing Mangaloreans closer as well as promoting culture and this was evident with this Monti Fest program. People came from all over the East Coast – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut to celebrate Monti Fest with their fellow Mangaloreans. That shows the love and commitment they have towards the Mangalorean culture. This was clearly evident in the performances that were held, which had people wearing different costumes, performing different acts, all working together in perfect harmony, to put a grand cultural program. There was no better way to celebrate our beloved Mother Mary’s birthday than how it was held today. It clearly shows that in unity everything is possible, you can connect with other people and promote your culture. MCA-EC will continue to strive to bring Mangaloreans together because Together We Can!
by Sydney Lasrado
Pics Christopher Monis