Monthi Fest Celebrated in Vienna, Austria

Peter D’souza

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Austria: In Vienna, Austria, though we are a small Mangalorean Catholic community, we strive to feel of being back home through our ‘coming together’. Monthi Fest is one of those festive occasions where this “WE” feeling reaches its climax. Though our thoughts are with our loved ones in India, we come together as one family, each family cooking one traditional dish lovingly, thus sharing our joys with others.

Started by the endeavors of Late Silvester Ronald Mathias, to bring every Mangalorean in Vienna together, we continued this tradition this year too. We all are grateful to Rony for being so enterprising and making this initial start to unite us together. This time we sorely missed his presence due to his untimely death.

The festive Mass celebrated by Fr. Rovel D’Souza and Fr. Wilfred Pais in Konkani(Carmelites), reminded us of the importance of Mother Mary in our lives and of her strength and sorrows. The Eucharistic celebration was beautified through the melodious voices of the Missionary Sisters of Queen of Apostles (SRA) who organized the liturgy of the day. As customary, flowers were offered to Mother Mary as a sign of our dedication and commitment. 

Fr. Rathan Almeida later in his address stressed upon the importance of the Blessed Virgin in our families. Quoting Maximilian Kolbe he too opined that if we don’t have Marys in our families today, our society too might not find Jesus. He then blessed the traditional corn and everyone partook of the blessing with the corn mixed in milk. Fr. Nicholas, (OFM. Cap) later joined in the celebrations. The traditional meal consisted of vegetarian dishes prepared by each family.

We are grateful to our dear priests, religious sisters, and all those who were present and were part of our celebrations, for making this feast a beautiful and memorable event.

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