As part of the activities of Champagnat Global Open Network, our Marist Global Network of Schools, the celebration of the feast of St. Marcellin Champagnat was held on June 8th and 14th with all the principals of Marist schools around the world. The celebration took place in the framework of an international webinar entitled: WHAT MAKES A SCHOOL MARIST?
The event was inaugurated by Brother Superior General, Ernesto Sánchez, who, in addition to thanking all the directors for the key role they are playing in maintaining Marcellin’s dream, wished all those present that the network we are building will help us to “look beyond”, like Marcellin. To look beyond the moment in which we live, beyond our borders and help us to feel more and more like a Global Family.
The central moment of the webinar was developed by three Marists of Champagnat who responded, from their experiences and contexts to the question of what for them makes a school Marist. From their contributions, a few ideas stand out:
Eva Matarranz, coordinator of the area of Education and Evangelisation in the Educational Works Management Team of the Marist Province of Compostela (Europe), reflected on the importance of fraternity and passion in a Marist School, as well as offering an education where the child, especially the most vulnerable, is the centre of our attention. In this accompaniment, the Marist school must find a way of transmitting to children and young people the Good News of seeing themselves in the image of God and called to create a more just and humane world. A school that educates and not only instructs is an authentic Marist school, was part of her reflection.
Br David Hall, Professor and Principal of the Catholic University of Australia insisted that the Marist school must have the capacity to contemplate the experience of the young Montagne and offer its students, in a renewed and equal way, the experience of formation as good Christians and as good citizens. David emphasised the provocative call to speak and present explicitly the sense of transcendence and the love of God to children and young people and their families. He also invited us to feel God’s transforming love through our participation as co-creators of His work.
June Allison, Superintendent of the Integrated Network of Marist Basic Education in Brazil, shared his thoughts on how the Marist School materialises the Gospel through its educational project. A Marist school is one that encourages, empowers, and not infrequently recovers, in children and young people, the capacity to dream. A Marist school is one that encourages diversity, respect, protects the planet and gives back to the marginalised the right to education.
After the presentations, it was very enriching to discuss the various contributions and questions that participants from all over the world sent in via the webinar chat.
Ben Consigli, General Councillor, link with the Secretariat for Education and Evangelisation, was kind enough to conclude this significant meeting with a final reflection on the excellence of our educational establishments which is based on the Gospel values that have Mary as the point of reference.
The webinar, led by Brother Carlos Alberto Rojas, Director of the Institute’s Secretariat for Education and Evangelisation, was a milestone among the activities being carried out by Champagnat Global. It was the first time that an activity was organised bringing together all the principals of the almost 600 Marist schools around the world. Words and songs of children and young people from a Marist school brought joy, tenderness, and enthusiasm to all the participants.
Champagnat Global offers us great potential to continue to grow as an international school community. This was certainly the first of many more to come.
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