Detroit: The feast day of Nativity of Our Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated with great devotion and piousness on Sunday, September 9h at St. Priscilla’s Church, Livonia. It was presided by his most Reverend Bishop of Detroit, Donald Hanchon and accompanied by Rev. Fr. Gilbert Mascarenhas, Deacon Robert Fitzgerald and Rev. Fr. Theo D’Cunha, parish priest of St. Priscilla church. Fr. Theo D’Cunha, a palatine congregation priest, who hails from Mangalore, began this tradition of celebrating Monti fest in Michigan, 11 years ago. This is the only church in Michigan that celebrates this feast and with much aplomb that sees a large gathering of people from all across Michigan who come together to celebrate this feast and honour Mother Mary’s important role in humanity, and to the salvation of mankind.
St. Priscilla Church, commenced with a procession of lively music and singing of Mother Mary’s songs, while all the faithful slowly marched around the parking lot, along with the statue of the Blessed Mother, and a parade of festival queens, with decorated arches. All the faithful took part in the procession with great enthusiasm. At the end of the procession, everyone returned inside the church to offer flowers to the Blessed statue and mass began at 11:00 am. Bishop Hanchon gave a beautiful homily about blessed are the poor in spirit and also reminisced of his time in Mexico, and how much the people were devoted to our Blessed Mother.
At the end of the service, Bishop Hanchon gave a special blessing to the children and Rev. Fr. Theo thanked all those people who had given their mite for the successful celebration of this feast. He specially thanked the Immaculate Heart of Mary choir, the Social ministry, the Knights of Columbus and the parishioners of St. Priscilla’s who worked hard to ensure the astounding success of the feast. He also wished all the faithful present, a happy feast and invited everyone for a grand reception following mass.
Reception in the parish hall began with Bishop Hanchon playing the ukulele and presenting a song for everyone gathered. He then cut the cake to our Blessed Mother. Fr. Theo concluded the celebrations by urging the attendees to spread the significance of the feast to other members and hoped for bigger celebrations with more participation, each year.