Houston: The celebration of the Nativity of our Mother Mary, Monti Fest to Mangaloreans, was celebrated by TIPCA (Texas India Pakistan Catholic Association) on Sunday, September 13, 2015 with traditional fervor, devotion, zeal and grandeur at the church of St Thomas Aquinas, Sugarland, Texas.
TIPCA is an association of Catholics who immigrated from India, Pakistan and Africa and based in and around Houston, Texas.
The devotion started with the recitation of the Holy Rosary. The Eucharistic celebration began with the Mass celebrated by the parish priest Fr Santy Kurian, MSFS. The readings were narrated by Samson D’Silva and Sheryl Machado. 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 Frank Saldanha. The TIPCA Choir gave an extreme spiritual grandeur to the celebrations.
Anand Pinto 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 Chris Pinto with the Bambina of Our Lady, then proceeded in procession to the Aldridge Hall, singing Konkani hymns “Sakkad sangatha maeleyan, sakkad lagin sariyan…..” and “Moriak Hogolsiyam” and showering petals to venerate ‘Balok Mori’ (Infant Mary).
‘Novem’ mixed with milk was distributed to all followed by the delicious homemade food prepared by the Mangalorean community of Houston. Tendli, kuvalo, chane, moog, karamb, chicken, bread, etc. were some of the mouth-watering dishes served. Vorn was served at the end to the delight of all who were gathered.
It was indeed a great instance of beautiful celebration for Mangaloreans and all Catholics present, evoking nostalgic memories of age-old traditional fellowship evident at the time of this festive season in our native homeland.