The tradition of Catholic education that is known as "Marist" was begun by a French priest, Marcellin Champagnat, in 1817. Today, Marist schools, colleges and universities are found in over eighty countries around the world, leading hundreds of thousands of young people to what St Marcellin believed each of them could - good Christians and good citizens.
Dismayed by the ignorance he found among the rural children of southern France and spurred on by a strong faith, St Marcellin initially established a network of schools in small towns. From the beginning the school reflected many of the qualities of St Marcellin himself: they were places where hard work and excellent achievement were valued, places where the individual was genuinely loved and prized, warm places where a strong family spirit was evident, places characterised by a lack of pretence but rather by simplicity and calm determination. A special concern was afforded those students who found school most difficult. Above all, the schools were places that had the Gospel at their heart, encouraging students to respond to it with the same faith and generosity as Mary did.
In the almost two centuries since St Marcellin began his work, a tradition and a culture have grown up, a distinctive educational style. In Australia there are over fifty Marist schools. These schools, in their attempt to incarnate the Christian faith in the Australian culture, have become known for their academic, cultural and sporting achievements, for their closeness to the communities they serve, and for the strong spirit which exists within them.
In the Footsteps provides a guide for our educational mission and endeavours.