St Priscilla’s parish in Michigan celebrates Monti Fest
Detroit: The feast day of the nativity of Our Lady on September 8th represents a new life, a new presence and is also celebrated as a thanksgiving harvest festival in Mangalore and many parts of the world. This year in Michigan, it was a celebrated with great devotion and piousness on Sunday, September 11th at St Priscilla Catholic Church, Livonia and was presided by the Bishop of Detroit, Arturo Cepeda. Fr Theo D’Cunha, the parish priest of St Priscilla church and a palatine congregation priest, who hails from Mangalore, began this tradition of celebrating Monti fest in Michigan, 9 years ago. It started with very humble beginnings and now sees a large gathering, with people from all across Michigan and outside who come together to celebrate this feast and honor Mother Mary’s important role in humanity, and to the salvation of mankind.
The celebrations at St Priscilla Church, commenced with a procession of lively music and singing of Mother Mary’s songs, while all the faithful, slowly marched around the parking lot, along with the statue of the Blessed Mother, and a parade of festival queens, with their escorts and decorated arches. All the faithful took part in the procession with great enthusiasm, holding flowers in their hands, to be offered to Mother Mary. At the end of the procession, everyone returned inside the church to offer flowers to the Blessed statue and mass began at 11am. The homily by Bishop Arturo Cepeda was truly inspiring and touching. He reflected upon the parable of the prodigal son and restated the fact that, “Christ is in our midst. He is and ever shall be”.
At the end of the service a special novena was prayed to Our Blessed Mother Mary. Fr Theo then thanked all those persons who had given their mite for the successful celebration of this feast. He specially thanked the choir, Arts & Environment ministry, the Social ministry and the Knights of Columbus who worked hard to ensure the astounding success of the feast. He also wished all the faithful present, a happy feast and invited everyone for a grand reception following mass. Reception in the parish hall began with the cutting of the cake to our Blessed Mother by Bishop Cepeda. Fr Theo concluded the celebrations by urging the attendees to spread the significance of the feast to other members and hoped for bigger celebrations with more participation, each year.
By Teena Fernandis