Monti Fest celebrated in Houston, Texas
Houston: The Nativity of our Mother Mary, Monti Fest to Mangaloreans was celebrated by TIPCA (Texas India-Pakistan Catholic Association) on Sunday, September 11 with traditional fervor, devotion, zeal and grandeur at the church of St Thomas Aquinas, Sugarland, Texas.
The devotion started with the recitation of the Holy Rosary. The Eucharistic celebration began with Mass by Fr Santy Kurian, MSFS, parish priest. The readings were read by Sheryl Machado and Nelopher D’Silva. The psalms were sung by Amanda Bush. In his homily, Fr Santy emphasized the importance of Mother Mary as the centre of the Church and our family. Prayers to the faithful were said by Ann Rose Lobo. Offertory was done by Ashton Alva, Paloma Madtha and Courtney Pinto. The TIPCA Choir gave a spiritual grandeur to the celebrations.
Nigel Periera gave a brief history on how the feast was celebrated over the years, first by the Goans and later by the people of coastal Kanara. After the Mass, the Bambina of Our Lady and the new crop (Novem) were blessed. The community led by Frank Saldanha with the Bambina of Our Lady, then proceeded to the Aldridge Hall at the back of the Church in a procession, singing Konkani hymns “Sakkad Sangatha Melyan” and “Moriak Hogolsiyam” and showering rose petals to venerate ‘Balok Mori’ (Infant Mary).
‘Novem mixed with milk’ was distributed to all followed by delicious homemade food prepared by the Mangalorean community of Houston. Tendli, kuvalo, chana, moong, karamb, karathen, chicken, bread etc., were some of the mouth-watering dishes served. Vorn was served at the end of the traditional meal, to the delight of all those gathered there.
It was indeed a beautiful celebration for Mangaloreans and all Catholics present, evoking nostalgic memories of an age-old traditional fellowship evident at the time of this festive season in our native homeland.
by Maureen Crasta
Pics Alen Dias