Monthi Fest: Konkan Organization of Toronto
Sept. 10, 2013
Monthi Fest is a major Mangalorean Catholic festival which is the celebration of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and in the Mangalorean Catholic community involves the blessing of Novem (new crops). This is the second year of hosting the event and the driving force for this year was to include the youth to integrate into the culture and participate in various activities of the celebration. Our youth were engaged in the choir and cultural activities. Under the auspices of the Konkan Organization of Toronto (KOT), a large number of Toronto residents and their friends celebrated Monthi Fest on September 7, 2013 with a concelebrated mass by Fr Francis Noronha, Fr Edwin Gonsalves and Fr Simon Fernandes at St. Barnabas Catholic Church, in Scarborough, Toronto. The church was packed to capacity and at the beginning of Mass, Hilda Mendonca - Secretary welcomed the congregation. Fr Edwin who rendered the homily spoke on the virtues and significance of Mother Mary in the Catholic Church and her role in the family. The mass was complimented by excellent traditional Konkani hymns by a melodious choir group under the dynamic leadership of Joseph (Nobby) Lobo – Vice President. After the mass, a procession was led by the Knights of Columbus followed by children and the congregation. Urbino (Patt) Fernandes – Outreach Coordinator carried the statue of our blessed mother. Children showered Mother Mary with flowers and the choir sang SakkadSangathaMelyan and MoriyekHogolsiya.
The mass was followed by a cultural program at the Malvern Recreation Centre in Scarborough, Toronto. The cultural program was opened by Clifford D’Silva – Cultural - Coordinator who welcomed the large gathering of 350 attendees and opened the floor to the two Emcees for the evening Jason Pinto and Riana D’Cunha who captivated the audience and ran the show flawlessly. The blessing of the Novem was performed by Fr Francis Noronha. The children gathered around the statue of our blessed mother and a representative member from each table was called upon to partake in the traditional novem and distribute it to the other attendees. The highlight of the celebration was a Bharat Natyam dance presented by Priyanka Chakravarthi, a Bollywood dance presented by Naomi Shankar, Irita Karmalkar, Michelle Patrao and Rhea Pinto, a hilarious short skit by Raymond Monteiro and Anthony Castelino, a Dance – Diana Bai presented by Kristina D’Silva, Vanessa D’Costa, Melissa Monteiro, Schnelle Gopalan, Allwyn Pinto, Rahul Martis and Bethany Monteiro, a Duet Song by Joseph Lobo and Carmen Castelino and finally a solo by Joseph Lobo.
In our midst was Sr Ferdinand D’Silva who completed her 50 years in the vineyard of the Lord. She was felicitated with a bouquet of flowers by Raymond Monteiro - President on behalf of the Konkan Organization of Toronto. The occasion was catered for by Udipi Palace who provided a sumptuous authentic traditional vegetarian meal and vorn. Membership Coordinator Teresa Menezes promoted the membership to the audience and felicitated the first member John Pinto with a token of appreciation. President Raymond Monteiro proposed a vote of thanks and informed the large gathering that the Konkan Organization of Toronto is growing from strength to strength in a big way. He thanked each and everyone who made this event a great success especially the support from the sponsors. The entertainment was provided by DJ Vinod Monteiro who amazed the crowd with excellent music and the dance floor was crowded to the very end. There were gifts galore consisting of 50/50, Spot and Door prizes organized by Marie Monteiro – Co-Cultural Coordinator and Jean Pinto – Youth Coordinator. Each enthralling moment was captured by photographer Alwyn Fernandes. .
The event was planned and executed by a dedicated volunteer Executive Management Team comprising of Raymond Monteiro, Joseph (Nobby) Lobo, Hilda Mendonca, Grace D’Silva, Clifford D’Silva, Marie Monteiro, Urbino (Patt) Fernandes, Teresa Menezes, Jean Pinto and Vinod Monteiro. The Konkan Organization of Toronto sincerely thanks the sponsors for their generosity in supporting the creation of a souvenir, the members and their friends for attending this event and making this celebration an outstanding success.
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