The Catholic Church’s core value is spreading the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to all people in all contexts. In the Marist tradition this is expressed in the mission: “to make Jesus Christ known and loved.”
St. Marcellin Champagnat, the Marist Brothers’ founder, saw education as the way to shape the future of the young people and to lead them to the experience of personal faith and of their vocation as “good Christians and virtuous citizens”. From the time St. Marcellin had established the Marist Congregation, until the present time, we, as Marists of Champagnat, continue to commit to our mission – “to make Jesus known and loved” – to shape the future of the young people, guided by faith and the principles of Marist education.
Our distinctive style of educating is based on a vision that is truly holistic, and that consciously seeks to communicate values. When we say distinctive Marist style – we have the 8 principles of Marist education (please refer to the book entitled, “THAT WE MAY REMEMBER…”) and these principles are encapsulated into the four CORE VALUES OF FAITH, MARIAN, COMMUNION AND SERVICE.
Our Marist Core Values are not in exclusion of other values in the Christian tradition. We speak of these values to emphasize what are considered most important in order to achieve what our Marist Brothers of the Schools’ founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat had discovered to be most near to Christ’s examples of the Good Son, and Teacher.
These four core values are important. They should be treated as a whole. The core values of FAITH AND MARIAN are significant because they tell that in one’s life as a Marist, relationship with God and Mary is very important. St. Marcellin showed his followers his faith and trust in God and how he followed Jesus in the manner of imitating Mary.
The core values of COMMUNION AND SERVICE are not separated from one’s relationship with God and Mary. These two core values are actually the results of one’s faith in God and relationship with Mary. As St. Marcellin’s life become closer to God and to Mary, he was filled with love and drawn into communion (family spirit) with others, especially with Brothers, and into service (loving presence and love of work) of those in need, especially the young.
Our challenge, as Marists, is to develop our relationship with God and Mary, and live our life the way St. Marcellin lived his life in communion with and in service for others. As Marists, we enrich not only our relationship with God and Mary but also our life of communion and service. This reciprocal enrichment allows Marists to transform into Champagnats of today.