Spiritual exploration never takes a vacation at Central Catholic!
From a student spiritual retreat at University of Notre Dame to making meaningful encounters with Christ in New York, Central Catholic High School (CCHS) makes it a daily mission to connect with God in a multitude of ways.
In June 2023, CCHS Campus Minister Mr. Tim Hart '85 accompanied two CCHS students -- Ruthsmarie Ogando '24 and Evan Fernandez '25 -- to Vision for High School Students, a faith-filled retreat run by University of Notre Dame students for high school students at Notre Dame in Indiana.
Ruthsmarie and Evan joined hundreds of other high school students as they learned from the witness of the saints, developed practices to live their faith, and immersed themselves in the Notre Dame campus, while sharpening their spiritual vision to recognize God's grace at work in their lives.
"My favorite part was the small group discussions, because it allowed me to become connected to the people in my group in such a short span of time," said Evan Fernandez '25. "Overall, I thought that the program was well put together and allowed for kids my age to connect easily and be open about our faith. I think it will help me take a more active role at CCHS, possibly through Campus Ministry, clubs, service, and school events. The lessons I learned impacted my spirituality positively, it helped me understand my connection to God and also deepened my belief in my faith." Ruthsmarie and Evan stayed in the Notre Dame dorms throughout the retreat.
While the students were participating in Visions, Tim Hart '85 participated in a parallel program for campus ministers and parish youth ministers. Notre Dame's Vision for Campus and Youth Ministers combines theological exploration, personal renewal, and a committed community of campus and youth ministers from across the nation.
Attending these insightful programs would not be possible without the support and generosity of two loyal Raiders -- Patrick '64 (former CCHS Board Member) and Grace Maraghy -- who have been strong advocates of both Central Catholic High School and the University of Notre Dame, where their children attended college.
While serving on the Board of Advisors for the University of Notre Dame, Pat and Grace established a fund for summer programs, including Vision for High School Students, as well as a Science and Religion program for two CCHS faculty members to attend each summer.
In order to make it possible for Central Catholic students, faculty and staff to travel to Notre Dame, Pat and Grace also established a fund at CCHS to cover transportation and additional costs for students and faculty to travel to the Notre Dame campus.
Beyond visiting the University of Notre Dame, several members of the Class of 2025 and three alumni spent a week in July participating in Marist Youth Leadership Camp 2023 at the Marist Brothers Center in Esopus, NY, with over 100 rising juniors, staff, and young alumni from the other Marist high schools in the United States (and one from Quebec).
In August, a group of Central Catholic students volunteered with KIDS 2 Summer Camp at the Marist Brothers Center at Esopus, NY, for one week in August. KIDS 2 is a sleepaway camp for individuals with special needs from the ages of 15 to 30 years old.
Throughout the year, CCHS students, faculty and staff are also offered retreat experiences at Camp Marist on the shore of Lake Ossipee, NH.
MRS. HEATHER TORLA SOUSA IS THE ANNUAL GIVING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER FOR CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN LAWRENCE, MA. CCHS ENROLLS OVER 1,200 STUDENTS FROM 60+ CITIES AND TOWNS AND SEVERAL COUNTRIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.CENTRALCATHOLIC.NET, CALL 978-682-0260, OR EMAIL WEBSITE@CENTRALCATHOLIC.NET.