Enriched by the teachings of Marcellin

The conclusion of the 2021 academic year saw the completion of 18 years of continuous education for our family with Marist schools. Joseph started the trek to the College in 2004 followed by Patrick in 2005, Thomas 2007, Toby 2010 and Jack 2013. All the boys loved and enjoyed the many opportunities Marist offered them. It became our extended family. The ‘Blue and Blue’ became a common sight through the laundry.

The school has had a major impact in our lives. Lifelong family friendships have emerged, a vast array of sporting experiences have been had and many opportunities were embraced. Over the years, the boys were involved in faith formation and service activities, drama performances such as Wakakiri in the Junior School, and drama and musical performances such as Buddy Holly in the Senior School. Through luck, determination and skill, the boys also enjoyed many sporting teams from swimming, cross country, athletics, basketball, rowing, to cricket and rugby. The College allowed the boys to blossom and grow into fine young men.

When we decided to enrol the boys into a Marist school, we were looking for an environment that fostered a love of Faith, an understanding of community, and the possibility to be challenged beyond their comfort zones. Marist did this and much more. We also needed to consider travel and cost. When Joseph started in 2004, he travelled, mainly by car, from near Boorowa to Pearce, which took on average 1½ hours to get to school. On the days he caught the bus, he left the house at 6.30am, got on the bus in Yass at 7.00am, changed buses at Hall and Civic before arriving at Marist, always late, at 8.35am. A long day for a young man, but he loved it. With more sons starting and the many trainings and commitments that young men have, as a family we decided the boys needed to go to boarding school. The only option was St Joseph’s College in Sydney, fortunately another Marist school. The eldest three headed to Hunters Hill to follow in the Marcellin way of education.

Being able to move to Canberra in 2015 enabled Toby and Jack to finish their studies here at Marist Canberra. Toby graduated in 2018 in the fiftieth anniversary of the College, which he proudly embraced. He still maintains close friendships with many of his year group. In many ways, this year has been full of challenges. Jack’s final year has not probably looked the way we thought it would, with many of the ‘lasts’ not occurring. There have been so many mixed emotions yet when I strip it back, like COVID has taught us to do, I am still so proud of his resilience and mental strength to readjust and look for the silver linings. Marcellin has taught him well, that there is strength and comfort in simpicility.

The boys have grown into amazing young men enriched by the teachings of Marcellin. Academics were important with three university scholars and two launching straight into careers. The most beneficial gift the boys graduated with was the sense of justice, faith, commitment to community, and an awareness of the common good. This is what we are the most proud of. They are fine young men; we are forever grateful to the many class teachers, House Deans and wider staff who knew their names, touched their hearts, knew when to push them, and allowed them to dream.

Leesa Callaughan