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'This signifies 15 years of life': Indianapolis girl shares importance of Quinceañera

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Posted at 6:58 AM, Oct 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-14 06:58:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Valentina Guerra-Pena is just weeks away from her Quinceañera, a celebration in the Hispanic community for a girl's 15th birthday.

"It's another year that God has given you and it's a day that we celebrate kind of like a sweet 16," Valentina said.

Valentina's celebration will start with a religious service at St. Patrick's Church in Fountain Square.

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A large portion of the church's members are from the Hispanic community. Over the last 28 years, thousands of Quinceañera services have been held at the church.

"So it's a traditional celebration, it goes back centuries and originally, it was an experience of womanhood, coming into womanhood. So a woman was eligible — eligible at 15, for marriage for running the household," Father Dennis Schafer said. "It's a dedication to Mary who is a model for women in being mothers and running a household."


After the service, Valentina is excited to wear her beautiful lilac dress covered in flowers that light up and dance with her friends and family where the rest of her celebration will take place at an event center. But, she also understands the importance of the day.

"I learned that the most important part of that day is coming and celebrating it in church because it's another year that God has given you," Valentina said.