Newsletter 8: 4 June 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, 37 Assistant Principals from Marist Schools across the country gathered at The Hermitage in Mittagong for three days for their third national conference. Over the past three years, these committed and gifted Marist educators have come together to pray, share, network and reflect with the purpose of building capacity to become more effective in their critical leadership roles in Marist education.

The theme of this year’s conference was Sources and Signposts: The Concept of a Marist Pedagogy. The two guest keynote speakers were Doctor Brother Michael Green, who is currently Rector of Aquinas College at Adelaide University and Professor Brother David Hall, the Dean of the La Salle Academy at the Australian Catholic University. Both learned colleagues provoked, inspired, and challenged us in their own unique ways, through careful historical research, engaging personal anecdotes and deep reflection. Clear to all participants was that essential to the concept of Marist pedagogy, is the belief that Jesus is the source of our way of education. With the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the example of Mary our good Mother, we read with sensitivity and intelligence the signs of the times and have the courage to constantly innovate our teaching and learning. In this approach, the inspiration and intuition of Saint Marcellin are ever evident.

Both presenters proposed concepts from a range of authors. Pertinent for reflection this week, two wisdoms in particular captured the imagination. First from Michael, was a quote from the Congregation for Catholic Education, cited in a discussion encouraging Catholic educators to understand the great Christian spiritual traditions as a gift of the Spirit to the Church to enable its members to undertake the Church’s mission.

The Congregation for Catholic education has come to recognise the value and potential of ‘these

spiritual families’ that permit the lay faithful to draw on the spiritual and apostolic fruitfulness from

the original charism –(as) one of the great hopes for the future of the Catholic educational mission.”

Second from David, was a quote attributed to the French Jesuit philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human


This coming Sunday, Catholics throughout the world will remember Jesus’ promise of the Spirit, fulfilled to the disciples and Mary gathered for Pentecost. On the 6th June, Marists will celebrate the life of Saint Marcellin, a person gifted to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. As Spirit filled Marists, let us this week demonstrate with joy and enthusiasm our shared hope for the future of Catholic education among our young Australians and their families.

Sally Dillon