The Church welcomes you as you prepare to celebrate your 15th birthday. It is important to remember that this celebration is not a sacrament but it should be one of thanksgiving for having received life, and an acceptance of the duties life brings with it when you live it according to love and the commandments of God.
Life means growth, and growth means maturity. A mature person is one who can make decisions and commitments and be faithful to them, even though it may be difficult to carry them out.
It goes without saying that your involvement in your Church and your love for God is an important part in your life as individuals and as a family. Though the Quinceanera is not a sacrament, it is still a religious celebration that calls for certain protocols on behalf of the Church and those who request the celebration.
The Catholic Church has a duty to know that a young lady who has attained the age at which a Quinceanera is requested, has been participating in Church life and receiving the sacraments at the usual times before it may extend the privilege of a non-sacramental religious celebration. In keeping with this, Good Shepherd Catholic Parish has developed these basic requirements:
- The family requesting the Quinceanera must be members of Good Shepherd Catholic Parish or reside in Visalia or Goshen.
- The parents and young lady will attend a two-hour preparation that will focus on Church teaching regarding pertinent issues that concern this particular age of the young lady and her peers and the implications of what the Quinceanera signifies. These sessions will take place on one pre-set Saturday each month.
- It is understood that the young lady will have received the sacraments of baptism, 1st Reconciliation and 1st Eucharist (certificates will need to be submitted for baptism and 1st Communion.) If the young lady has not received these sacraments, information may be obtained regarding religious formation for sacramental preparation. Good Shepherd Catholic Parish cannot offer the Quinceanera celebration to those who have not received sacraments.
- As the Quinceanera will normally coincide with the age that the young lady would begin preparation for Confirmation, she and her parents will need to agree to pursue participation in one of the Religious Formation programs to begin this preparation.
Families who wish to celebrate the Quinceanera are invited to come to the parish office to pick up the complete packet of Preliminary Information. The office is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
So that you will be fully aware of what is required for the Quinceanera Celebration at Good Shepherd Catholic Parish, information will not be given verbally, over the phone. If you wish to obtain the information, please come to the office to pick up the packet. No dates may be set for the Quinceanera celebration until all requirements have been met.