Nativity Fest : Mangaloreans in Washington DC Metropolitan Area

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Media Release

Gaithersburg (MD), 18 Sep 2012: The Mangalorean Community of Washington DC metropolitan area under the banner of Mangalorean Association, Inc. celebrated the feast of nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary with religious fervor and gaiety on September 16, 2012. The feast which is traditionally celebrated as Monthi Fest by Mangalorean Catholics is an annual event eagerly awaited by the Mangaloreans living in the region. The celebration held at Lake Marion Community Center, 8821 East Village Avenue, Montgomery Village, Maryland began at 12 noon with a festive mass.


The president of the association, Mrs. Glenda Bastian, welcomed the members and guests. She introduced the special guest Fr. Richard Vaz, SVD who flew down from Chicago to attend the event. Fr. Vaz fondly known as Fr. Richie is a SVD missionary serving in various capacities at North American Headquarters of the Society of the Diving Word, Techny Chicago. He along with concelebrant Fr. Inna led the festive mass that began with children walking up to the altar with flowers in their hands to shower on Mother Mary. The choir led by Glenda Bastian sang "Sokkad Sangata Mellyam" while Mrs. Eliza Lobo guided the children who gathered around the statue and showered flowers on the statue of Maria Bambina to the tunes of nostalgic Hymn  "Moriyek Hogollsiyam."



The members and children took active part in the service with readings and responsorial psalms, with the choir singing both in Konkani and English. Fr. Richie in his inspirational message explained the significance of the Harvest Festival which is celebrated by the people of all faiths in India and known by different names. He recalled his youthful years of Mission work in Orissa among tribals and dalits where this festival is known as Nuakhai, a joyous occasion for families and friends to come together and renew and strengthen their bond of love and unity. He also reminded the faithful how Mother Mary, “Woman of Faith” among many trials and difficulties coped with the experience of being an unwed mother, single parent, refugee and widow. He lauded the spirit of unity among Mangaloreans who assembled in large number to celebrate the family feast, and said that tradition also brings a community together in celebrating their roots and Monthi fest was one such occasion to celebrate the family bonding.


At the end of the mass the priest blessed the new grown paddy along with the roce and thanked Almighty for the blessings and hard work of our farmers and providing us with all the bounties of nature. The mass was followed by traditional yet sumptuous Mangalorean luncheon prepared by some of the committee members.


After the lunch, the president of the association Glenda Bastian introduced new members who joined the association on this occasion. The families then introduced themselves to the gathering, and were welcomed to the association with a round of applause.


Bastian also thanked all those who helped in making the event a successful one, and also requested Mangaloreans living in the DC metropolitan area to attend the next event to celebrate Christmas which will be held on December 1, 2012 at Longbranch Community Center, 8700 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, Maryland. To obtain more details of the association and future events send an email to: or visit



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