Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood is a school founded in the Marist tradition.
The Marist Brothers are an order of teaching Brothers founded in France in the early nineteenth century by Marcellin Champagnat. Marcellin was a priest from central France, and the order was his attempt to bring education to poorer rural children of this area.
Despite many setbacks and much opposition, he was successful in meeting the needs of his time. In fact, the Order has since spread throughout the world with about six thousand brothers found in more than 70 countries.
The Marist Brothers commenced their work in Australia in 1872 at St Patrick's at Church Hill in The Rocks area in Sydney. Their number has grown to over 400 in Australia with missions in the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea.
While not attempting to reduce Marist Spirituality to a number of bullet points or characteristics, clearly there are a number influences that have shaped the Marist Charism. These influences stem from the intuition "to bring up children properly, we must love them, and love them equally". In the text, In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat, five characteristics of Marist Spirituality are listed. This list is not exclusive but is a guiding document to capture the spirituality of our Marist tradition.
We develop a way of being, loving and doing. We seek to establish positive relationships with all members of the community, founded on love, which create a climate for learning in an educational setting, for passing on values, and for personal growth. We deepen our experience of the loving presence of God within others and ourselves. This presence of God is a profound experience of being personally loved by God, and the conviction that He is close to us in our daily human experiences.
Marcellin's great desire and legacy is that we relate to each other as the members of a loving family. The foundation of this is the love that Jesus has for all his brothers and sisters - all of humanity. Acceptance and belonging should prevail where everyone in our family has a sense of being valued and believed in, where we are ready to trust each other, forgive each other and reconcile with each other. Our relationships are genuine and caring.
As members of a community we strive to be persons of integrity - truthful, openhearted and transparent in all our relationships. Humility and modesty are linked to simplicity. Such simplicity is the fruit of a unity of mind and heart, of character and action that derives ultimately from our being honest with ourselves and before our God. We all need to value others and ourselves for who we are without pretense or dishonesty.
In the Way of Mary
Mary is, for us, the perfect model of the Marist educator, as she was for Marcellin. Mary's was a journey of faith, just like ours. She urges us to do whatever Jesus tells us. Mary has continued to carry out her mission of mother and educator within the Christian community, giving witness to God's solidarity with people in their needs and sufferings. All members of our community are inspired to imitate her tenderness, strength, and devotion in faith.
Love of Work
Marcellin was a man of work, a sworn enemy of laziness. Marcellin, the builder, shows us the importance of being ready to "roll up our sleeves". We follow his example in being generous of heart and constant and persevering in our daily work as well as in the efforts we undertake for our own ongoing learning. Young people learn that work is a powerful means of self-fulfillment, of giving purpose and meaning to life, and of contributing to the general economic, social and cultural wellbeing of the society in which they live.
Water from the Rock