We are the Mangalorean Catholics, hailing from the southwestern coastal town of Mangalore and vicinity in South Kanara District (Dakshina Kannada Gille) of Karnataka State in India. We are an ethno-religious community of Roman Catholics, and trace our heritage to Mangalore and speak the Konkani language and follow the Latin rites.
Mangalorean Catholics follow the traditions and customs of Indians apart from some of their own special Catholic traditions during events like marriage, that includes brass band, Roce ceremony, Ojjem, Voviyo etc. which are unique to the Roman Catholic traditions of marriage.. The regular Catholic traditions are centered around customs, such as, Good Friday, Monthi Fest (Feast of Nativity), Christmas and Easter. Mangalorean Catholics have continued to follow the system of church and priests, mass in Latin rites, smaller communities and the Gurkar system (leader of the community) and Canon law for remarriage, to name a few.
Mangalorean cuisine is signified by the use of Coconut and Curry Leaves as the common ingredients in food preparations. The Mangalorean dishes are distinguishable by their names, such as Sanna-Dukra Maas, Rosachi Kadi, Pathrode and Kuswar which are prepared on special occasions, festivals and weddings. Fish and rice are the common staple diet of most Mangalorean Catholics, similar to the food style of people living in the coastal area.
We strive to preserve our culture through the various events that we organize throughout the year to try to mimic the festival events and traditions as they are carried out in Mangalore.
The language spoken Mangalorean Catholics is Konkani, which is the native language spoken in the Konkan region of Southern India. While preserving Konkani as the mother tongue and the Konkani lifestyle, Mangaloreans have learned the languages of South Kanara, Tulu and Kannada that helps them to blend and adapt the local cultures of the land they live in. Keeping the Konkani alive is becoming challenging with the migration of Mangalorean Catholics and settling abroad in developed countries with families and also due to the inability of migrants to coach or train their children to converse in Konkani to keep the language alive.
We aim in preserving the essence of our mother tongue Konkani that defines our identity and the roots, by incorporating singing of Konkani hymns during festivals and celebrations, specially at the Monthi Fest event.
Our motto is ‘Connect, Explore and Cherish our Awesome Heritage’.
We connect our community people through various events we organize throughout the year to keep our culture and traditions alive.
We explore in doing new things that attract the young and the old and bring them together.
We Cherish our awesome heritage by continuing to carry on with the traditions that our ancestors have taught us.
We try to bind our people together with the spirit of Christian life, service, unity and co-operation.
The DC Mangalorean Association, was founded by Mrs. Letitia Joyce D’Souza of Hyattsville, Maryland, USA in the year 1989.
We are probably the oldest Mangalorean Catholic community in USA and recently celebrated our 30th Anniversary.
Since inception, there have been 10 Presidents of our association, in the following order –
Dr. Pamela Enjetti, (First President) - from 1989 to 1991
Edwin Baptist – from 1992 to 1993
Esmie Coutinho – from 1994 to 1995
Giovanni Mascarenhas – from 1996 to 1998
Jacintha Mascarenhas – from 1999 to 2002
Marcius D’Souza – from 2003 to 2004
Glenda Bastian (longest serving President) – from 2005 to 2014
Juliet Vaz Barboza – from 2015 to 2016 and
Carol D’Souza Rodrigues – from 2017 to 2018
V James Dante, (Current President) – since 2019
Each one of them have contributed to the association in their own unique ways to grow the association throughout the years and kept it running. We have come a long way and now have a very structured organization that organizes the various cultural and religious events during the year to bring people together, and thanks to the past Presidents who have held the pillars of the association all through these years.
Now we are trying to attract more members and families by coming up with newer ideas and modern ways of bringing people together. In September 2019, we organized a grand Musical Nite show from several Konkani musicians from Mangalore to a large crowd of members and guests during the Monthi Fest event. In December 2019, we managed to get all the past Presidents at one place and felicitate them with plaques for their service during the 30th (Pearl) Anniversary of the Association that we combined with the Christmas 2019 event, that was a huge success. As our token of appreciation for the support, we distributed memorable mementos to each member & guest family attending the event. We will continue to do our best to keep the association strong and growing with the cooperation, support and participation from our members.