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By September 16, 2023Mumbai News
kallianpurdotcom: 16/09/23
(News / Photos: Rons Bantwal)

Mumbai (RBI), Sept.16: When we step into the month of September, the first thing that strikes us as Mangaloreans is the “Monthi Festh” (Feast of Nativity), Amchya Saibin Maencho Jolma Dees (Our Mama Mary’s Birthday). And then kelmbya kolyanth jevan (meal on banana leaf), vorn (dessert), kobu (sugarcane), etc. Why all this, and that too all over the world? It’s because for us Mangaloreans, it’s a celebration of the Harvest Festival with Novem Jevann blessed by Our Mother. Though we are all over the world, it’s a festival  very dear to us because it binds us together as one community which is an integral part of our identity, unity and mission, wherever we are.

As is done every year this year too all the Mangalorean families got together under the banner of Mangalorean Catholic Association ®, Pune and celebrated with great joy and warmth the Monti Fest 2023 on 10th September, at Christ the King Church, Sainikwadi, Pune.

Fr. Sunil Menezes, SVD   blessed the new sheaves of grain (Novem) at the grotto of Mother Mary. Singing the traditional hymn “Sakkad Sangatha Melyam, Moriyek Hogolsiyam’  the children and the congregation offered flowers to our beloved Monti Mai.

The main celebrant of the Eucharistic celebration was our Spiritual Director,  Fr. Naveen Rebello, SVD – with concelebrants Fr Henry Almeida,  SJ, Fr. Sunil Menezes, SVD,  Fr. Aloysius Gonsalves – CTKC Parish Priest, Fr Sunil Ranger SJ, Fr Lancy Monteiro SJ, Fr Woolsie SJ, Fr Claudius Tauro SJ and Fr. Rony Lewis.

Fr Henry Almeida SJ preached a meaningful and thought provoking homily, inviting each one to offer the best gift that we have to our heavenly Mother on her birthday so as to emulate her example and shining virtues, such as deep humility, being true and faithful disciple of Jesus, obedience and ardent love.

As we celebrate this feast let us draw inspiration from Mother Mary and become an instrument of blessing to others as she was. The church resonated with the melodious singing by the MCA Konkani choir along with the brothers of DNC and the Papal Seminary.

Former President Mr. Benjamin Mathias  felicitated the priests present for the mass. Ms. Veena Pereira, Cultural Secretary,  thanked the clergy and the congregation for their devout participation in the Eucharistic service. This was followed by a cultural programme at the Christ the King Church Hall.

Inma and Anil Fernandes welcomed the guests in the Mangalorean traditional way with Panpod and Udak (beetel leaf and water). The MCA Treasurer Nishant D’souza welcomed the guests, priests and religious. A prayer dance was staged by Nyesha Sequeira and Chelsea Veigas.

With group 1, Immaculate Fernandes, William Fernandes, Veena Pereira, Marina Veigas, Allwyn Castelino, Bro.  Roshan Castelino SJ, Bro Merwin Mathias SJ, Bro. Mario and Group 2  Prescilla Braggs, Wilma Mendonca, Sunitha D’Souza, Nancy Sequeira, Jennifer Lobo and Daisy Vaz gave a scintillating dance performance.   ‘Kaliz Guturu Korta’ a dance was  performed by Rishona Rebello and Siyona Rebello. The rib tickling comedy skit by Linetta Rodrigues and Bro. Suman left everyone in fits of laughter.

Former President Ronald Sequeira felicitated the students who successfully completed their grades for the year 2022-23.  The donors for Montifest were felicitated by Fr. Henry Almeida SJ. The children who took part in the drawing competition were felicitated.

The event was beautifully compered by Renson Vas and MCA youth member, Andrea Vaz, who is also the Associate Newsletter Editor.  The Secretary Sunitha D’Souza thanked the audience for making this Monti Fest a successful and colorful event and all the members who worked directly or indirectly for the success of this program. The cultural program concluded with the singing of “Laudate Dominum” by the choir members.

Fr.  Sunil Ranger SJ blessed the Novem Jevann. Choir members kept the audience enthralled and in high spirits with their foot tapping mando.  Assembled guests were served a delicious fellowship meal Novem Jevann.

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