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Associated Press
Washington – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is publishing a ritual blessing for the Quinceanera, the coming-of-age celebration for Hispanic girls on their 15th birthday.
The Rev. Allan Deck, head of the bishops’ cultural diversity office, said the ritual aims to help “Latino Catholics celebrate their cultural heritage and build new bridges to other Catholics.”
About one-third of U.S. Catholics are Latino, and the percentage of Hispanic Catholics in the country is expected to increase, according to surveys.
The ritual can include a Mass and a presentation of religious articles to the teenager from her baptismal godparents or others. The teenager will also be asked to make a commitment to God and the Virgin Mary to live out the rest of her life according to Catholic teaching.
Many dioceses already mark the Quinceanera with a blessing. Bishops had requested an approved ritual for use in all U.S. dioceses, leading to the new booklet.
It will be published Sept. 19.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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