Last Saturday we celebrated the Feast Day of St Marcellin Champagnat. As a school in the Marist tradition this is of special significance to us. At our Marcellin campus, students celebrated the day with a liturgy followed by our Marist challenge events which pitted homerooms or crews against each other in very challenging competition. In the weeks leading up to the day, students at our Marcellin campus donated goods and clothing as well as blankets to St Vincent de Paul. At the end of the day we celebrated with a ploughman’s lunch of bread, meats, cheese, and tomato. We were also fortunate to recognise three staff members for 10 years of service in a Marist school – Glenn Miller and Gianni Petrucci. Luke Harris was on leave and will have his certificate presented later this term. Congratulations to Mr Chris Burrows, Head of Campus, and his staff for making this such a special day. At our Cardijn campus we celebrated the day with a liturgy which was broadcast online to all our classrooms. Led by our student leaders and beautifully supported by our Choir, we were fortunate to have Fr Josy our school chaplain and parish priest present. The liturgy finished with a strong rendition of the Subtuum.
This year we are very conscious that celebrations are very different across the world for this important Feast Day amongst the international Marist family. Amid a global pandemic, we have encountered tremendous anxiety, dislocation, death and grief. In addition, we recently saw the tragic death of an African American man in custody by police which has shocked the world. The rallies across the world in support of “Black Lives Matter” send a strong message to our government, authorities, and communities that we need a united stand against racism, disadvantage and to stand up for the dignity of every human being. These are very difficult times for everyone. St Marcellin Champagnat also lived in a time of disruption and turmoil amid the French revolution. In that time of great need Marcellin had the courage and strength to start his own revolution of building hope and love through Jesus. He made a difference to people in his community and had a vision of building a family who would work with him to build this community of Faith. On his Feast Day we celebrated that we are Marist who are inspired by our focus on simplicity, presence, love of work, family values and in the way of Mary to Jesus.
Br Peter Carroll FMS, our provincial leader of the Marist Association said: “…in every challenge there is an opportunity, in every period of turmoil there are new dreams born”. Many Marist leaders have come since St Marcellin Champagnat who have brought inspiration, wisdom, creativity and vision. The inspiration is for us to live Jesus’ message in new and vibrant ways.
Now it is our turn and invitation to dream and to work with others for a better and more humane world.
Let us take up the challenge together.