Toronto: Mangalurean choir group ‘The Konkan Voices’ shines at ‘Voices for Christ’

Gerry D’Mello

Daijiworld Media Network - Toronto

Toronto (Canada), Dec 6: The Mangalurean choir group ‘The Konkan Voices’ gave a stupendous performance in the eleventh ‘Voices for Christ’ choral singing organised by the Knights of Columbus council#12214 here in Mississauga on December 2.

The Mangalurean choir group ‘The Konkan Voices’ is a very talented, cheerful and enthusiastic group of Konkani singers directed by renowned musician Merlyn Rodrigues. Most of the members of this group participate in the choir at the monthly Konkani Mass at Sts Martha & Mary Church on every second Saturday of the month, and at the most cherished ‘Monthi Fest’ (feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Virgin Mary) in the month of September every year at the Maximillian Kolbe Church organised by the Mangalorean Association of Canada. They bring life and enrich the Mass with their melodious voice and spirit-filled singing. Their mission is to continue to cherish the Konkani language and bring the Konkani Community together by using their talents for the greater glory of God.

“My heart sings out a melody of gladness in greeting all participating choirs in our Voices for Christ Chorale Competition. It is with great joy that we are all in tune in composing a collaboration of talents in celebrating the Advent Season through music. This season is a journey of preparation for the birth of Jesus. I am aware of the rigorous preparation that every choir has gone through to perform for Jesus. It is in the same way that every Christian prepares for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Then, we can all sing, Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus,” said Fr Carlos Macatangga, SVD, the dynamic Pastor of Cristo Rei parish in his message while inaugurating the eleventh ‘Voices for Christ’ Christmas Choral event organized by the Knights of Columbus Council #12214 here in Mississauga. "In this light I am expressing my heartfelt felicitations to the Knights of Columbus for this worthy endeavor. To the participating choirs, may all our songs be a source of joy, praise and worship. I cannot think of a better way to usher in the Advent Season than by singing hymn of praises to the Messiah,”he said.

Contrary to the chillness of the winter weather, the warmth of the Divine Spirit spread through angelic singing thus preparing Christians in and around Toronto for the joyous feast of Christmas.

The ‘Knights of Columbus’, a Catholic Association having over two million members all over the world, is a Catholic men’s fraternal benefit society that is very popular in North America. It was formed to render financial aid and assistance offered to the sick, disabled, needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works. It is a great vehicle for Catholics to practice their stewardship in parishes and communities.

In order to spread the light of Christmas joy, Council #12214 of the ‘Knights of Columbus’ affiliated to Cristo Rei Roman Catholic Church, one of the prominent Churches in Ontario, organised ‘Voices for Christ’, an event participated by the various Church Choir groups of Toronto in ‘Cristo Rei’ Church Hall for the eleventh time. Acclaimed choir groups consisting of talented singers and musicians from different multicultural backgrounds like Canadian, Portuguese, Indian, British, Italian, Polish, Chinese and Filipino participated in this magnificent event.

The dynamic and dedicated leader of Knights of Columbus Council #12214 and the ‘Grand Knight’ Jude Fernando welcomed the gathering wherein he thanked all the sponsors, Worthy Knights and all those who had worked behind the scenes. He extended a special thanks to the worthy chaplain Fr Carlos for his great support groups and that resulted in a tremendous success.

Mirjana Fernando and Nikita Lobo, a couple of the vibrant and talented young personalities of Cristo Rei Parish ably anchored the evening’s programme which took off at 7:15 pm with the national anthem 'O Canada' sung by Gabriella Peters that followed by an apt Advent message by Gita Jacob. The anchors welcomed the full-house gathering and then read out the list of participating choir groups. They were:

Cristo Rei Children’s Choir
Guiding Light Academy Choir
Joyful Voices Choir
St Catherine of Sienna Youth Choir
Grupo Movidos Pelo Espirito Santo
Prince of Peace – Tamil Choir
The Konkan Voices Choir
St Michael's Church Choir

Deputy grand-knight Allan Fernandes rendered the vote of thanks. The fun-filled programme comprised lots of raffle prizes.