Champagnat Marist Charism

This is the legacy gifted to us by Marcellin Champagnat and the first Brothers.  The Charism is what makes Champagnat Marists unique.   Within the Charism are the six Elements of Champagnat Marist Spirituality and the five Pillars of the Champagnat Marist Identity

The Six Elements of Champagnat Marist Spirituality

Champagnat Marist Spirituality is centered in the God of Jesus Christ, born into the circumstances of our world, enlivened by mission, and following in Mary’s way.  The Elements form the basis of all Marist life and mission – they are why. 

The Elements of Marist Spirituality flowing in the tradition of St Marcellin Champagnat SM are:

  • God’s Presence and Love
  • Trust in God
  • Love of Jesus and His Gospel
  • In the Way of Mary
  • Family Spirit
  • A Spirituality of Simplicity

The Five Pillars of Champagnat Marist Identity

The Pillars describe the ideals to which all Champagnat Marists, students and adults alike, should commit to - they are the how.  In the Pacific we have developed some symbols to accompany each of the Pillars. 

Marist Charism logos

The Pillars are:

Presence – caring for each other, seeking relationships founded on love, being attentive and welcoming with a sense of openness.

Manu – the presence of birds on the sea indicated that food was abundant.  In the Gospels Jesus refers to the birds of the air having no home. They are just there, available, with no expectations except to point to things other than themselves. Marists are called to be present among young people, like Mary, making her Son, Jesus, known and loved.

Simplicity – being straightforward and genuine, humble and modest, ‘doing good quietly’.

Te Ika – the fish represents abundance and faith.  It is also uncomplicated, straightforward and genuine, and reflects changes in our life.  Our role too is to present a world of learning to children and young people as directly and simply as we can.

Family Spirit – relating to each other as members of a loving family, building community, offering the warmth of welcoming, acceptance and belonging, sharing our successes and failures, setting clear standards of honesty, mutual respect, and tolerance.

Turtle – the turtle represents patience and endurance. There is a warmth about the turtle that reflects in us a willingness to accept others as they are.  We work to make children and young people happy and comfortable by inviting them, too, into community and so develop a sense of belonging.

Love of Work – being generous of heart, constant, and persevering in our daily work, confident, visionary, decisive in meeting the needs of our community and encouraging each other to discover the dignity of our work with young people and with each other.  Marists view work as a way to bring purpose and meaning to life.

Mako – there is a beauty about the shark that reminds us of determination and single mindedness when pursuing our goals. We lead children and young people towards taking responsibility for their actions and to taking steps that will lead to a life of self-fulfilment.

In the Way of Mary – seeing Mary as a perfect model of being Marist, tender, strong, constant in faith, open to God’s calling us to our own journey of discipleship.  Mary for Marists is an exemplar of the Christian life, as mother, as one who praised God.  She is a woman on a journey of faith, who had ‘dust on her feet’.

Kaitiaki – a Kaitiaki was a guardian and its role was to protect and support.  This was Mary’s role with Jesus, even at the foot of the cross.  Our role is to invite children and young people to be open to God and to respond wholeheartedly when called.

What is a Charism?

A charism is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to build up a more spiritual Church and a better world.  The Champagnat Marist charism emerged from the lived experience of Marcellin and the early Brothers.