Parishes may also give pastoral guidance in having the celebration for several girls at one Mass, thus focusing more on the liturgy than on any one family, or offering the use of the parish hall for the fiesta which follows.
A parish, a parish organization or several parish organizations could sponsor a fiesta following a monthly religious celebration for all the Quinceañeras of the parish. It is suggested that a time of preparation be set before the date of the celebration so that all participants understand the meaning of the religious celebration and have an opportunity to ready themselves spiritually.
This celebration can be a means of strengthening the faith of Latino youth.
Adults have a responsibility to pass on the faith to younger members of the community.
Why is this celebration necessary when the Church has the sacrament of Confirmation?
The Virgin Mary is a model for women of every class and age group. In a culture where machismo is still evident, the choice by a young Hispanic woman to celebrate her fifteenth birthday in the Church offers a host of possibilities for her and the parish.
The U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letter, Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry is a call to personal discipleship, evangelization and leadership of youth so strong that the bishops ask the entire Church to make ministry with adolescents its concern as well.
The letter focuses on three goals: empowering young people to live as disciples of Christ in today’s world; drawing young people to responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the faith community; and fostering the personal and spiritual growth of each young person.
If the young women are received with understanding and a willingness to meet their needs, the celebration of the Quinceañera can be a “teachable moment” for the parish.