April 1, 2022 | Youth
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

St. Joseph Parish in Bowling Green hosted a half day of reflection, study and preparation for the upcoming quinceañera celebrations of 10 young women. COURTESY OF DCN. CHRIS GUTIÉRREZ

Quinceañeras preparation program helps young Latinas understand they are loved

BY DCN. CHRIS GUTIÉRREZ, SPECIAL TO THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC

On March 5, 2022, 10 young ladies from St. Joseph Parish in Bowling Green experienced a half day of reflection, study and preparation for the their upcoming 15th birthday celebrations in the coming months. Quinceañera is a Hispanic tradition of celebrating a daughter’s reaching of her 15th birthday which includes a Mass of Thanksgiving, also a consecration of herself to the care of Mary followed by a “fiesta” (party). It is a centuries-old tradition with roots going back to native Aztecs and Toltec cultures within México. It also remains an evangelizing opportunity of connecting with young Hispanics in our days.      

The day started off by first meeting with their parents followed by a two hour meeting with the ladies going over and sharing on various topics. Reflection points included: “I celebrate my baptism”; “Self –knowledge – who am I?”; “Who is Jesus?”; “Women’s role in our society”; and “My youth and values”.

While adequate pastoral care of Hispanic/Latino youth for various reasons remains a daunting challenge, Quinceañera celebrations still provide us an opportunity and privilege in accompanying young people to discover who Jesus really is and what God’s plan might be for their lives. Mainly what we want is to make sure that young Hispanics understand that they are LOVED!

Dcn. Chris Gutiérrez is the director of the Office of Hispanic/Latino Ministry for the Diocese of Owensboro. Learn more at owensborodiocese.org/ministerio-hispano.


Originally printed in the April 2022 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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