Thursday, January 03, 2008


Update #2: Picture restored.


DENVER (AP) — On the day she is to become a woman, Monica Reyes sits in front of the church for Mass. Her white dress — sewn in her mother's Mexican hometown — spills over her chair like an oversized lampshade.

The priest urges her to live as a daughter of God. Her parents give her a gold ring shaped like the number 15. Near the end of the service, Reyes lays a bouquet of roses before a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Then she steps through the worn, wooden doors of St. Joseph's, a Roman Catholic parish for generations of poor, Hispanic immigrants, and into a 20-seat white Hummer limo that rents for $150 an hour.

Read the entire piece. A couple of points...

Matovina said the Denver archdiocese's efforts will resonate with some families and be ignored by others, much like couples who go through the motions of marriage preparation classes to get a church wedding.

At the same time, the ritual is a point of tension with the Catholic church because Catholic families want their faith to be part of the celebration yet it isn't a sacrament, like marriage.

The Reyes family does not attend Mass regularly, but would never consider the Quinceanera legitimate without the blessing of a priest. A portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe watches over the living room of the family's apartment.

"The reason to have the Mass is to be blessed, and to say thanks to God," said Monica's mother, Luz.

The article makes much of the industry that surrounds the entire thing. I am at once intrigued, but also repelled by the expense of the entire thing. I've read in different places about the thoughts of Confirmation devolving into a 'coming of age' sacrament and I wonder how that plays into the event with these girls and all the trappings of their Church-sanctioned events. Food for thought.

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