At the heart of the Marist school is a distinctive spirituality. Marists commit themselves to living the Gospel of Jesus with the same faith, hope and compassion that Mary did. This is the essence of the Marist spiritual tradition: priests, brothers, sisters and lay people are all members of the Marist movement.
It is all about living as Mary did, whom Marcellin called, “Our Good Mother”. Marcellin’s motto was: “All to Jesus through Mary, all to Mary for Jesus.” Mary plays a vital role in salvation history, but without putting herself in the limelight. Marist simplicity and common sense, nearness and availability are lived out daily. To join with Marcellin in imitating Mary means doing good quietly, bringing the world to God, serving others, being friendly and warm-hearted with those around us.
Marists model themselves on Mary. First, like Mary of the Annunciation, they are open to the movement of God in their lives. Like Mary of the Magnificat, they are ready to set out full of hope, with the good news of Jesus, taking it to places that hunger for it.
Like Mary of Bethlehem, Marists seek to bring Christ-life to birth in the lives of people and to foster its growth as a mother would, even in the most unlikely of places and among ordinary people. And like Mary at Pentecost, Marists stand with the Church as it comes to birth.
Marist spirituality is underpinned by the five Marist characteristics that are common to all Marist ministries:
Presence – building caring relationships based on trust, respect and valuing each person
Simplicity – open and honest communication which accommodates individual needs
Family spirit – emphasis on communal wellbeing where mutual support and shared responsibility flourish
A love of our work – pursuit of excellence through hard work and commitment. Recognition that the dignity of work is achievable by setting high expectations and standards, applying genuine effort and celebrating success
In the way of Mary – with Mary as a model, students are invited to share Marist spiritual life through prayer, liturgies and service to the local and wider communities
The founding Marists were critical of the Church they saw in France after the French Revolution. They believed it needed a Marian face: something simpler, more forgiving, humbler and more nurturing. Like St Marcellin Champagnat, modern-day Marists believe that the school is a privileged place to undertake this mission.