Pune: The Mangalorean Catholic Association (MCA), Pune organised the annual Monti Fest celebration at Christ the King Church, Sainikwadi, Pune on Sunday, September 20. Monti fest being a family feast, MCA has over the past 19 years tried to carry on the traditional celebration by bringing together Mangaloreans spread far and wide around Pune City. The focus of the celebration this year was the involvement and participation of MCA youth members so that the next generation knows the importance of traditions and culture while celebrating festivals.
The program commenced with showering of flowers at Mother Mary’s Grotto singing ‘Moriek Hogolsian’ and a solemn procession to the church. This was followed by a concelebrated “Eucharistic Service’. Fr Gratian Carlo SJ, Director NVSC and Spiritual Director of MCA was the main celebrant. He was accompanied by Fr Ronald Fernandes (Parish Priest of Christ the King Church), Fr Simon D’Souza, Asst. Parish Priest. Fr Ivan D’Souza (Mangalore diocese), Fr Richard Mathias, Rector SVD-Pune, Fr Edwin Vas, SVD, Director Ishwani Kendra and Fr Sunil Menezes, SVD, Vice Principal, St Arnold Central School. Fr Ivan D’Souza preached a thought provoking homily about Mother Mary’s role in the salvation of mankind. The packed church reverberated to the hymns and praises of the congregation, and to the lilting choir and music led by SVD & DNC brothers and MCA members. Edna Rodricks, Secretary, MCA thanked the clergy and the congregation for their devout participation in the Eucharistic service.
Maj. Gen. (Retd) Neville Rasquinha and Sandra Rasquinha were the Chief Guests at the cultural programme that followed. Henry Lobo and Anitha Lobo, welcomed the gathering dressed in traditional attire and offered “Panpod ani Udak” to the guests. MCA President Ronald Sequiera welcomed the guests of honour with bouquets. MCA’s ‘Vision & Mission Statement’ was unveiled by Fr Gratian Carlo, SJ.
The cultural program began with a prayer song ‘Morie maye thuja navan ami Manglurgaram hanga zamleavn’ by the Choir members. The children of MCA members performed to the tunes of catchy Konkani songs ‘Konkanacho Divo Pacharla’, ‘Ye Ye Katrina’ and ‘Diana moja mogache’. The young couples of MCA danced to a konkani medley. ‘Katrin Bayechi Kaani’ a skit with a message was enacted by SVD brothers and MCA members. A comedy skit, ‘Hotelache Bhade’ left the audience in splits of laughter. The highlight of the day was the youth of MCA dancing for the very first time to the tunes of a Konkani medley. The cultural programme this year was a hit with one and all and the entire credit goes to the dancers, actors, choreographers and directors.
Gen. Neville Rasquinha gave away prizes to the students who passed SSC/HSC/Graduation/Post Graduation during the previous academic year. Fr Gratian Carlo, Sandra Rasquinha and Harry Lobo, Editor, MCA gave away prizes to the children who participated in the dance. Stephen Lobo, Treasurer, MCA delivered the vote of thanks. Judith Menezes along with youth members, Belita D’Souza, Jeffrey Carvalho and Steffie Rodrigues anchored the programme. The traditional latin hymn “Lavdate Dominum” was devoutly sung before the meal. The celebration ended with everyone joining in the ‘masala dance’. The assembled guests were served a delicious fellowship meal ‘Novem Jevann’.