Among several Spanish-speaking countries and among many Hispanics in the United States there is the custom of celebrating the passage from childhood to adolescence with a ritual that expresses thanksgiving to God for the gift of life and that asks for a blessing from God for the years ahead. This celebration may take place within Mass or outside of Mass.

What is a quinceañera?

The quinceañera is a traditional celebration of life and gratitude to God on the occasion of the fifteenth birthday of a young Hispanic woman. The ritual emphasizes her passage from childhood to adulthood. The family usually requests a Mass or a blessing to be held in the Church. The rite is frequently celebrated in several countries in the Americas, including Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is frequently requested by Hispanic Catholics in the dioceses of the United States of America.

At St. Gerard a young person may request a Mass of thanksgiving (Quinceañera Mass) or a blessing in one of the masses.

  • Quinceañera Mass: the young person should participate in a Christian Formation program (or enrolled in Catholic School) for at least a year before the planned date. The young person should commit to complete the sacraments of initiation by going through the preparation and receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. Also, the young person will attend a two-session program for quinceañeras.
  • Quinceañera blessing: attend regularly at Mass and request a blessing in one of the masses at least a month before the desire date by contacting the Administrative Assistant.

Quinceañera preparation program


The goals of this program are to help you and your families develop and deepen an appreciation of their cultural heritage and identity; to celebrate the event within the context of the family and the parish community; to help you and your families deepen your knowledge of the Church and faith in Jesus through the sacraments.


The sessions will review some of the basic beliefs of the Church and the cultural heritage of Hispanics.

For more information contact the Coordinator of Religious Education.