Marist Schools Australia

Catholic Education in the tradition of St Marcellin Champagnat

A message from the National Director

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There is a magic about dawn, a sense of both promise and anticipation. 

All of us have known the experience – the stillness of the pre-dawn darkness, the first gentle glimpses of the rising sun, and the whole awakening of the new day. Farmers, surfers, rowers, early morning joggers, and Benedictine monks all know it well. It’s a special time of day for them.

As it should be also for you and me. A Kairos moment. Paul, in his Letter to the Romans (13:12), calls us to be people of the dawn, casting off all that belongs to the night and to darkness. The day is at hand, the Apostle urges us.

Sunset is a quite different experience – a time for cosy, complacent gratitude, perhaps accompanied by a comforting cocktail. It’s healthy to have thankful, sabbatical moments like that – perhaps for a figurative seventh of our lives – but that’s not what dawn is about. Complacency and cosiness do not go with the start of the day. It is a time for energy, for decision, and for belief in what has not yet happened.

Before Pope Pius XII decided to change it, the Church’s main Easter service was held at dawn – not at midnight or, even worse, the evening before. Whatever the pastoral reasons for the change, the liturgy lost a key element of its symbolism, one that John had built into his narrative of the Resurrection as its major metaphor (20:1-18). Mary Magdalene’s awakening belief is associated with the light of the new day. Recognising Christ risen changed everything for her; nothing could be the same again. And Jesus’ instruction to her: tell the others about this.
We Marists – like all disciples of the Risen Christ – are called to be people of the dawn. Indeed, to be prophets of dawn. It prompts us to look beyond the horizon, to imagine new possibilities, to have the liberty to build new paradigms. It is typical of us as Marists that our bicentennial year is not focussed primarily on celebrating what has been, but on looking ahead to what might be. We are at the beginning of a third century of the Marist way of sharing in God’s mission.

The day is at hand. Let us embrace it together and remember nisi Dominus …

Brother Michael Green FMS
National Director
Marist Schools Australia 2016

What is Marist Schools Australia?

Marist Schools Australia draws together Catholic schools which shape their identity and mission through the spirituality and educational approach that was introduced into the Church by St Marcellin Champagnat in the early nineteenth century, and which has continued to be developed by the Marist Brothers and Lay Marists.  

MSA provides its member schools with leadership, support and, where applicable, governance, in order that they can continue to be authentic Marist educational communities.

The first priority of MSA is to nurture the faith and spirituality of today’s Marists, which include not only Brothers but thousands of Lay Marists, and also priests who minister to them.  

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The Mission of Marist Schools

Marists understand their mission to be a sharing in Mary’s work of bringing Christ-life to birth in young people, and of nurturing its growth in them. They gather family around them, standing with the Church as it comes to be born.   

Marists believe that the Catholic school is a most effective place in which to undertake this privileged task.