Monday, May 10, 2010

First Quinceanera at Holy Rosary Mission

By Father Scott Joseph Garrett
Pictures by Kim Tretikoff

I flew our Cherokee Warrior II from Dillingham to the very first Quinceanera in the history of Holy Rosary Mission. It was celebrated 64 air miles to the East of Dillingham at Saint Theresa Parish. Saint Theresa supports the communities of King Salmon and Naknek, Alaska. the celebration took place Friday, May 7th, 2010 at 5:00 PM.


The young woman celebrating her transition from childhood to adolescence was Veronica, who turned 15 years of age the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo). CLICK ON ALL PICTURES TO MAKE THEM LARGER.


After months of preparation, including special dance practices, organizing a dinner for 300 people, sending out invitations, and decorating the Naknek High School Gym and Saint Theresa Parish, Rohelio, Veronica’s father, was ready to celebrate. Rohelio and his family are the only Mexican family living in Naknek or King Salmon. So this was a very special event that was witnessed for the very first time by several Alaskan Natives and Caucasian families. Godparents and friends traveled from all over to be at this sacred celebration.

Together the two communities of King Salmon and Naknek share one Catholic Church, Saint Theresa. The total population of both King Salmon and Naknek combined is not over 1000 people. Rohelio’s dream of celebrating a Quinceanera was coming true and his determination motivated over 100 Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and protestants to crowd into Saint Theresa on Friday afternoon, May 7th. It was the largest gathering of people I have seen at Saint Theresa in the five years I have been pastor.

According to “The Order of the Blessing on the Fifteenth Birthday,” there are among several Spanish speaking countries and many Hispanics in the United States that have a 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.

After months of preparation, including a special dance practice, organizing a dinner for 300 people, sending out invitations, and decorating the Naknek High School Gym and Saint Theresa Parish, Rohelio, Veronica’s father, was ready to celebrate.

Veronica seemed a bit overwhelmed at first, after all, she was born in Naknek, Alaska and had never really experienced the Mexican culture. But during the Mass, with all of her friends gathered around her and giving her encouragement, she started to relax and have a good time.

Veronica's teenaged friends await her arrival at the entrance of Saint Theresa Parish.


Here is Veronica, right on time!


Here are a few more pictures of the momentous celebration:

Four of veronica's classmates were chosen to do the readings and intercessions during the Catholic Mass. Here is the First Reader.


The Responsorial Psalm:


The Second Reading:


Kiera volunteered to Altar serve during this history making celebration. Here she is shown holding the candle while the Gospel (the story of Mary and Martha, Luke 10: 38-44) was being proclaimed.


Godparents (left) and Veronica's mother and father had front row tickets!


On the other side of the church, Veronica and her friends looked on.


The preparation of the altar.


As part of the rite, Veronica gets sprinkled with Holy Water.


Then she places flowers at the foot of the Virgin Mary.


Veronica, after making an act of thanksgiving to God, gets the special Quinceanera blessing.


We all clapped for Veronica after she received her blessing.


Classmates from the Naknek High School pose with their friend Veronica.


Veronica and Patrich Shryock took a picture together after Mass before heading to the High School for a dinner sponsored by the D&D. They participated in a special dance after dinner.


Here is a picture of Veronica with her sponsor, mom, and dad.


Since this was my first Quinceanera, I had to do some research. Here is some information that may be valuable to those celebrating a Quinceanera (readings, prayers, intercessions, preface, Mass).

Quinceanera Old Testament Readings

Jeremiah 1: 4-10
The first reading is a reading from the prophet Jeremiah
The word of the LORD came to me thus: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. "Ah, Lord GOD!" I said, "I know not how to speak; I am too young." But the LORD answered me, Say not, "I am too young." To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD. Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying, See, I place my words in your mouth! This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms, To root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.
The word of the Lord

Ecclesiastes 11: 7-9 and 12: 1-2
Light is sweet! and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. However many years a man may live, let him, as he enjoys them all, remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that is to come is vanity. Rejoice, O young man, while you are young and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes; Yet understand that as regards all this God will bring you to judgment. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come And the years approach of which you will say, I have no pleasure in them; Before the sun is darkened. and the light, and the moon, and the stars, while the clouds return after the rain;

Judith 13: 18-20
Then Uzziah said to her: "Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth, who guided your blow at the head of the chief of our enemies. Your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who tell of the might of God. May God make this redound to your everlasting honor, rewarding you with blessings, because you risked your life when your people were being oppressed, and you averted our disaster, walking uprightly before our God." And all the people answered, "Amen! Amen!"

Isaiah 7: 10-14
Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!" Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Quinceanera Responsorial Psalms

Psalm 100: 1-2, 3,5
The Responsorial Palm is:
We are his people, the sheep of his flock.

Sing joyfully to the lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song. All Respond: We are his people the sheep of his flock

Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. All Respond: We are his people the sheep of his flock

The Lord is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. All Respond: We are his people the sheep of his flock

Other Psalms for Quinceaneras
Psalm 144
Psalm 123
Psalm 121
Psalm 116

Quinceanera New Testament Readings

Galatians 3: 27-29
The second reading is from Galatians:
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendant, heirs according to the promise. The word of the Lord.

1 John 4: 7-11
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.

Ephesians 1: 3-6
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.

Galatians 4: 4-7
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Quinceanera Gospel Readings

Luke 10: 38-44
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke
As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."
The Gospel of the Lord:

John 15: 9-17
As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.

Luke 1: 26-38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, 11 and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

Luke 1: 46-55
And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

Matthew 25: 1-13
Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.' While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, 5 for you know neither the day nor the hour.


Quinceanera Intercessions
Please respond “Lord hear our Prayer.”

We pray for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, our Archbishop Roger, for all priests and religious men and women, and for all those who have dedicated their life to the service of God’s people: We Pray to the Lord.

For the leaders of the world that they may perform their duties with justice and compassion for the good of all: We Pray to the Lord.

For (N) who is celebrating her 15th birthday, that she may continue with happiness and generosity in the way of the Lord: We Pray to the Lord.

For parents, grandparents, and godparents of (N), that they may be good Christian examples: We Pray to the Lord.

For the sick and the poor in our community, that they may experience the love God has for them through our care and help: We Pray to the Lord.

For those how have died, that they may enjoy the vision of God in heaven: We Pray to the Lord.

Prayers and Preface (P40)
Mass of Thanksgiving (Masses and Prayers for Various Needs)

Thank you to all who attended and helped out with this memorable event. It was an event that will long be remembered by the Catholic Church in Bristol Bay!

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