National Director's Introduction

Spirit of Faith

Secularity is a dirty word in some Church circles.  It cops the blame for much of what’s seen to be going wrong with the progress of faith in the world.  Some might even say that it is why we need a “New Evangelisation” or a “Year of Faith”. I’d like to think that this kind of thinking would sadden God. After all, God became human.  Fully human.  In time and in place.  He spoke a language, drew an identity from a cultural context, formed personal relationships. Lived and died.

Faith is never something which is alien to the secular world.  On the contrary, faith is about transforming our understanding of what it means to be human.  It gives a significance to living that reveals it to be infinitely more than we can see and touch. Living with faith it is about engaging the present with all our heart while at the same time seeing beyond it.

In the major piece of writing of his Generalate, St Marcellin’s protégé and successor, Brother François, wrote a Circular in four parts.  His aim was to describe the essence of being Marist.  It may surprise you to learn that in this defining work he made no mention of the Founder at all, and only passing reference to the word “Marist”.  His primary concern was, rather, that Marists were captured by what he called a “spirit of faith”.  This is what he had learned from Marcellin. This is the most essential quality of a Christian educator.   He understood it most profoundly in the verse of Galatians 2:20:  I live now, no not I, but Christ lives in me.

 It is our task and our privilege to open the eyes of faith in young people, to nurture them to become Christ-people.  In doing so, we will give them, like Mary, a capacity and a reason for hope and love.  We will be sowing seeds of joy in them. They will grow to see with Christ’s eyes and love with Christ’s heart. Let’s embrace the Holy Father’s call to a “Year of Faith” in this context.  It is around this call that we have built the 2013 theme for our Australian Marist schools.

Nisi Dominus

Brother Michael Green FMS