USCCB News Release
September 4, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Quinceañera Ritual Book To Be Released
WASHINGTON—The approved Order for the Blessing on the Fifteenth Birthday, the quinceañera ritual, will be published September 19. Communities can celebrate this bilingual ritual both within and outside of Mass.
The Mexican-American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas, developed the original text of the rite in 1999. The publishing office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) acquired the rights to the text in 2007, and has collaborated with the Secretariat of Divine Worship in completing the final text.
Jesuit Father Allan Deck, Executive Director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity, emphasized the importance of developing a ritual that "helps Latino Catholics celebrate their cultural heritage and build new bridges to other Catholics in their communities." Father Deck cited joint survey by the Pew Hispanic Project and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in April 2007 that reported that approximately one-third of all Catholics in the United States are now Latinos, and projected that the Latino share will increase. Father Deck said the quinceañera ritual will be one of "many resources Latinos can use to preserve both Catholic and cultural identity."
Monsignor Anthony Sherman, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship, said the quinceañera ritual can help young Catholics "learn more about the importance of upholding one’s baptismal commitment in a spirit of thanksgiving." The ritual is traditionally a rite of passage for teenage girls, but the participation of clergy, sponsors and others in a community celebration "allows others to get involved and make the same thankful commitment themselves," said Msgr. Sherman. The ritual allows baptismal godparents or other couples serving as sponsors the option of presenting religious articles to the quinceañera.