Celebrating the Feast of St Marcellin Champagnat (6 June 2017)

Written on the 8 June 2017

When Marcellin was just 16 years old he spent most of his day working on the family farm and looking after his sheep. He lived in a small village far from any large city. He only attended school briefly, learning mostly from his parents and uncle. There was adventure in Marcellin's life when he accepted an offer to leave home and study to become a priest. Although not knowing what the future would bring, Marcellin had a deep trust in God.

Marcellin's dream was to educate young people living in country areas about God's presence and love. He used Mary, our Good Mother, as his inspiration to make Jesus known. When Marcellin arrived at the town of La Valla, he started to make his dream a reality. He invited two young men to become teachers and join him in starting a school in the town. Thus the first Marist school was established and they became the first two Marist Brothers.

Marcellin dreamed to help and educate young people in need no matter where they were. Before too long, many schools and other missions were established and the Marists went to other parts of the world, including Australia. And now, 200 years later, there is a Marist presence in over 80 countries.

In his Easter Sunday message this year, Pope Francis said that helping those in need is "the foundation of our existence" as a Catholic Church. He said that Jesus comes to meet those in need through the actions of people who treat them with respect and kindness.

As we celebrate the Feast of St Marcellin Champagnat, we are reminded of his dream to educate in a spirit of audacity and hope, loving each and every student equally, and instilling the characteristics of; Presence, Family Spirit, Love of Work, Simplicity and In the Way of Mary in all of our students.

As a College community, we celebrated the Feast Day through our annual Marist Mission March where we walked in solidarity with our global Marist community, raising awareness and funds for Marist projects in Fiji, India and the Philippines... This is our mission!

Please view the video of the Marist Mission March here >

Thank you to Lifesketch Films for putting this wonderful video together. It truly captures our sense of school spirit as we marched in solidarity with our global Marist community.

Our Marist Mission in action
On Wednesday 6 June, we celebrated the Feast of St Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of the Marist Brothers, and an occasion made more significant in this, the bicentenary year of the Marist Brothers. Marcellin's dream was to educate young people living in country areas about God's presence and love. He used Mary, our Good Mother, as his inspiration to make Jesus known. Before too long, many schools and other missions were established and the Marists went to other parts of the world, including Australia. 200 years later, there is a Marist presence in over 80 countries.

St Vinnies Winter Sleepout and Winter Appeal
As part of our Marist Mission, on Friday 2 June in the midst of one of the coldest starts to winter on record, more than 30 Senior School students and staff members gave up their beds to 'sleep rough' and learn what it would be like for those experiencing homelessness for the St Vinnies Winter Sleepout. As part of the sleepout, the students and staff used only blankets, sleeping bags and cardboard boxes that had been donated.

We were privileged to have the CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society in SA, David Wark, present to us about how homelessness is not a choice, and that Vinnies plays a significant role in supported those on the margins in our local community. Following this, we heard Old Scholar, Ben Ellul's, personal experience of community with homelessness on the streets of Melbourne. Charley Hiller and Rose Doherty created an activity to show the stark difference between some people's lives and the choices they do not have. To finish the night, we too gathered as a community and shared our musical talents, as well as playing some competitive four-square before turning in for a rough night's sleep.

The donations we have collected from the students and the wider school community will be delivered to our local Brighton Vinnies to support people in need this winter. A big thank you to all who donated. A special thanks to the Young Marist post-school volunteers who served dinner, and to James Gill, Annicka Adolphi and Majo Bogatec who accompanied the students to help make the night an eye-opening experience.

In solidarity of this mission, the Middle School students wore as many warm layers as they could on Friday 2 June, and then donated items to the St Vincent De Paul Society, who will distribute these to the homeless this winter. Well done to all students, with some managing to wear 33 items! Donations of warm winter clothing and blankets will continue until this Friday (9 June)!

Once again, the generosity, compassion and mission of our community was on display! Please support Vinnies SA this winter in caring for those on the margins in our community!

For more information about how you can help us this winter, please contact maddyforde@shc.sa.edu.au at the Senior School or tamarasmith@shc.sa.edu.au at the Middle School. We thank you for your support.

Connect Night
On Thursday 25 May, a group of 14 senior students across Years 11 and 12 gathered with 13 students from Cardijn College. The aim of these gatherings is to 'connect' students from other Marist and Catholic schools around Adelaide and to foster a sense of community and Marist spirituality.

The Marist Youth Ministry (MYM) team from Melbourne and Adelaide led the students through activities exploring the theme of our bicentenary year, Awaken. As a community, students brainstormed issues within their school they would like to awaken their peers to and presented practical actions to combat these issues.

'It was exciting to experience a Marist connect night made absolutely fantastic by the team who lead the sessions. Both MYM and YCS possess values and methods which are alike. I am looking forward to a bright future of collaboration between the two movements in the south. We will be an unstoppable group of young people' - Cardijn College's YCS Minister, Tahlia Sully. We look forward to our next Connect evening next term at Cardijn College. Thank you to all involved.

James Gill
Director of Marist Mission
Tamara Smith
Coordinator of Marist Mission
Maddy Forde
Youth Ministry

 

Banner image: This painting is one of four specially commissioned paintings for the Marist 200 Years celebration. This painting depicts the story of St Marcellin visiting a young boy who was dying knowing nothing of God. You will notice in the painting that the artist has chosen much darker colours to emphasise this crisis for this young boy and the local church. While the painting shows the boy has already died and is in the care of the angels, St Marcellin is depicted contemplating how he can respond to this crisis to make Jesus known and loved.

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