Since 2006, the College has been directly associated with the Marists, an international community of the Church that is involved in principally in education, youth ministry, social welfare with young people in over eighty countries. Founded in 1817, the Marist family has grown to include the Marist Brothers, the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers), the Marist Sisters, the Marist Missionary Sisters, and a number of groups of Marist lay men and women. In Australia, the largest branch is now the Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat, a community of over 800 which comprises lay women and men, Marist Brothers, and clergy. It aims to nurture the spiritual development of its members in a Marist way, to provide a home for them in the Church, and to carry on the work of Saint Marcellin in the education and care of young people.
The personal faith of Marists, their manner of sharing in the mission of the Gospel, and their association with one another are all shaped by the spiritual way introduced into the life of the Church by Saint Marcellin and developed by successive generations. Marists take Mary’s Magnificat as their manifesto, setting out into the hill country of young people’s lives, filled with hope and joy, bringing them news of the justice and mercy and faithfulness of God. Like Mary, first disciple, their lives are centred on Christ, and their hearts are moved by the young.
Their spirituality is marked by a profound experience of God’s abiding presence and love, by trust in God, by a deep personal love of Jesus and his Gospel, by creating communities marked by a family spirit, and by a humility expressed through simplicity.
Saint Marcellin wanted Marist educators to experience the same faithful and compelling love of Jesus that Marcellin himself knew deep in his own heart, and to look to share this love with young people, especially those most in need of it. Marist communities and educational institutions define themselves by this hope.
Marist educators strive to mould their educational communities as families, where people relate to each other as members of a loving family would intuitively do. They offer a spirituality that is simple and accessible, grounded practical love and transparent relationships. From this basis, they offer an education that is both integrated and rigorous, aimed at growing men and women who will be compassionate and critical, articulate and aware, faith-filled and hopeful.
The principal purpose of Marist education is to lead young people to know and love Jesus, in the way of Mary, in the belief that they all can become good Christians and good citizens. Marists have developed a distinctive way of undertaking this evangelising mission. Inspired by St Marcellin Champagnat, Marist educators, before all else, love their students. Their approach is marked by simplicity, family spirit, love of their work and presence in the midst of those whom they are called to serve.