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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Central Catholic

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Central Catholic

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15 through October 15.

We are excited to celebrate the many contributions of the Hispanic/Latinx community to the culture and traditions of the Merrimack Valley and the United States.

Through a collaboration between many Central Catholic groups, we will be celebrating throughout the month and beyond with various activities throughout the school.   

This year, we begin our heritage celebration aware of the devastation that Hurricane Fiona is causing to our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean, as well as the many emotions the Hispanic community is processing with recent events that have occurred with migrant families in the country.  

Our hope is that through celebrating heritage throughout the year, our recognition of diverse groups of people will encourage us to learn more about each other and lead to an increase in dialogue and understanding of the differences that make us unique and the similarities that unite us.

We invite everyone to participate!

National Hispanic Heritage Month at Central Catholic

Presented by

  • the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Spanish Classes in the World Language Department
  • Cinema Club
  • The Raider Café
  • Students Can Open People's Eyes (SCOPE)
  • United We Stand Club

Wednesday Morning Prayers in Spanish

Statue of Mary in Courtyard in front of Central Cathokc High School sign

On Wednesday mornings, Mrs. Candiotti’s Spanish language students will be saying the morning prayers in Spanish

Prayer: Our Father in Spanish

Padre nuestro,
que estás en el cielo.
Santificado sea tu nombre.
Venga tu reino.
Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día.
Perdona nuestras ofensas,
como también nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden.
No nos dejes caer en tentación y líbranos del mal.

Prayer: Memorare in Spanish

oh piadosísima Virgen María,
que jamás se ha oído decir
que ninguno de los que hayan
acudido a tu protección,
implorando tu asistencia
y reclamando tu socorro,
haya sido abandonado de ti.
Animado con esta confianza,
a ti también acudo, oh Madre,
Virgen de las vírgenes,
y aunque gimiendo
bajo el peso de mis pecados,
me atrevo a comparecer
ante tu presencia soberana.
No deseches mis humildes súplicas,
oh Madre del Verbo divino,
antes bien, escúchalas
y acógelas benignamente.

Carnaval Costumes from the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Carnival Mask

Photos to come

Webster Family Lobby & First Floor Hallway
Costumes donated by The Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts.

What is the significance of this display?

Diablo Cojuelo Costume

The Diablo Cojuelo (Limping Devil) is the main character of the carnival.  “A tale on the island says that this devil was banished to earth because of his childish pranks. When he hit the earth he hurt his leg, causing him to limp. While most of the communities across the island represent this character in different ways, several common practices are the use of a mask, a satanic suit, sleigh bells, and a whip or "Vejiga" (an animal bladder filled with air) to hit people in the streets (other "Diablos"). A Dominican tale claims that the mask is meant to represent the Spaniards who came to the island and enslaved and whipped the natives.”


The Spanish conquistadors brought the Carnival culture from Europe to the island of Hispaniola (now known as the Dominican Republic and Haiti) in the 1500s.  The Roman Catholic Church considered Carnival to be a pagan celebration, however as Christianity spread its influence, it found that natives hung on to this festival.   “Rather than force Catholic dogma on the local populations, it simply “Christianized” the pagan festivals enjoyed by the masses” (Fraser, 2013).  

Carnaval in the United States

Mardi Gras and Halloween

“With the spread of Catholicism was also spread the festivals adopted into the religion such as Carnival. A little known fact about Louisiana is that the first European explorers to visit Louisiana, which came in 1528, were in fact a Spanish expedition (led by Panfilo de Narváez) located the mouth of the Mississippi River.”  Although Louisiana was claimed eventually by the French, many Spanish and in turn, Mexican influences were adopted into the Mardi Gras festivals that preceded Lent.  This is the only region in the United States to celebrate the Carnival season and its practices look very similar to carnival in Latin America.

Carnival is a Christian festive season that takes place before the liturgical season of Lent, typically in February and early March.  Carnival is made up of parades and community festivals with people dressed in costumes and wearing masks.  Just like Halloween, Carnivals were originally pagan festivals that were later redefined in a Christian context.  

Thank you to the Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts. 

Celebrating Saints from Latin America: Coming soon...

Celebrating Saints from Latin America

We are in the process of creating a display highlighting Saints from Latin America in the hallway by Campus Ministry and the Carney Family Chapel.

Meeting: Students Can Open People's Eyes

Students at the SCOPE table during the Student Activities Expo

2:30 PM, Thursday, September 22 - Room 229, Memorial Gymnasium


Students Can Open People's Eyes (SCOPE) focuses on the celebration of diversity and multiculturalism. 

The Club also addresses issues regarding cultural diversity and acceptance throughout the school and society. 

We participate in and sponsor activities and programs that promote cultural awareness both at Central Catholic and throughout surrounding communities. 

SCOPE is open to all students at CCHS.

Learn to Make Dominican Maduros - Sweet Plantains

Cooking Lesson with Ms. Clarisol DeJesus, World Language Teacher

Ms. Clarisol DeJesus

4:00 PM, Tuesday, September 27 - Via Zoom

¡Vamos a cocinar!  Let’s cook!  

Have you seen plantains in your supermarket?  

They look like bananas but are larger and need to be cooked before eaten.  

In this session, Ms. DeJesus will help you to prepare maduros or ripe plantains, a sweet and easy dish that can be eaten as a snack or a side dish.  

Plantains are a common food staple in the tropical island of the Dominican Republic and are eaten throughout Latin America, similar to the potato in Europe.

Invite your family and friends to share in this experience of cooking an authentic Latin American dish together. 

Explore the Taste of El Salvador in the Raider Café with Mr. Romero

Mr. Chris Romero

2:10 PM, Monday, October 3 - Presented by Mr. Christopher Romero

Enjoy a sip of "horchata" at the Raider Café.  

It’s a refreshing Salvadoran cinnamon, rice, and milk drink served with ice.  

It can be a way to explore a new food from a different country as well as get a boost of sweet dairy milk before your afternoon activities.

Pastelitos for Sale in the Raider Café

Students in the Raider Cafe

2:10 PM, Thursday, October 13 - Presented by SCOPE

Enjoy meat-filled pastelitos, also known as an empanadas, for $1.00 as an afternoon snack.

Pastelitos are small turnovers made with a thin dough, similar to a pasta dough, that is crimped at the edges and fried.

Cinema Club Movie: Coco

Coco movie poster

2:30 PM, Tuesday, October 18, CoLab - Library & Media Center

Coco follows the young aspiring musician named Miguel as he embarks on a journey in search of his ancestors. His search for answers leads to him to a magical land where he is able to meet his ancestors where he learns of his family’s history and traditions.

This film provides insight into the widely celebrated Day of the Dead and offers an introduction to students before the display of the school’s Day of the Dead altar presented in the World Language corridor.  

Join us!

Students, click here to sign up (maximum of 30 students).

About the Cinema Club

The Cinema Club watches the movies students are most interested in, while at the same time addressing any topical/social relevance the month in which the movie is viewed offers. 

The Cinema Club members choose and coordinate the movie, viewing time/place, refreshments, and then open the viewing for all students to join in the watching the selected movie. Post-movie discussion frequently ensues as we talk about and review the movie. Those interested in cinema, writing, social issues, or just in the mood to watch a good film, should definitely apply! Most viewings of Cinema Club films are on the Central Catholic campus, but, depending on student interest, could potentially be organized at the local movie theater.

Celebrating el Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Day of the Dead Altar

October 24 through November 2, World Language Lobby - Hampshire Street Building

Presented by World Language Teacher Mrs. Laura O’Connor, a native of Mexico

Visit the Mexican Day of the Dead altar located on the ground floor of the Hampshire Street Building and prepared by Mrs. O’Connor.

Day of the Dead occurs in Mexico between October 28 and November 2, All Souls Day.  

The custom has been a tradition in Mexico for thousands of years.  It offers people an opportunity to remember, mourn, and celebrate their loved ones.  

One of the many traditions of this celebration are the altars where photographs, personal belongings, favorite foods, flowers, candles, and desserts are included to remember the deceased, to welcome them home and remind them that they have not been forgotten.  

Take a moment to view or add to the vibrant altar located in the World Language corridor.

Pictured above, the 2019 Day of the Dead Altar at CCHS, which honors Mrs. Laura O’Connor’s daughter Christina Laserna, who passed away at the age of 24; her mother Margarita Martinez, age 87; and her brother Jesus David Peraza, age 65. Also featured is a photo of recently deceased Gertrude O'Neil, 97, mother of CCHS faculty member James O'Neil.

Thank you for joining with the Central Catholic Family to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!


Image for National Hispanic Heritage Month

About Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.


Click here to read Central Catholic's Declaration of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

We are Unique in our Diversity.

Students come to Central Catholic from over 60 cities and towns and several countries.

We come from diverse backgrounds and experiences to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service.

We come together as classmates, peers, and teammates.

We learn together and from one another as we develop a deeper understanding of who we are as people and how we fit together as a community.

We are Central.

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, please visit, call 978-682-0260, or email

Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.