Marking our sesquicentenary year

The Marist Brothers arrived in Australia 150 years ago with a singular and powerful purpose to make Jesus known and loved for the many denied a Catholic education.

So, it is with a sense of small pride that myself and a number of staff recently attended a Mass of Thanksgiving at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney to mark our sesquicentenary year. The celebration was a time to look back and give thanks for the contribution of the Brothers and countless women and men to Marcellin’s mission in educating and forming young people of faith and service in their communities. In partnership with parents, they have helped nurture and shape a more just, tolerant and cohesive society.

The Mass was also a time to accept and acknowledge terrible crimes of abuse committed against children in our care. This was acknowledged by Marist Brothers’ Provincial, Br Peter Carroll, reiterating the profound sorrow and regret to those harmed and he apologised unreservedly. 

The celebration was also a time to look to shaping the future with hope and excitement. We live in a very different time from our first schools and, as such, we continue to ask what does it mean to place Catholic before such terms as education, teacher, student or school? Maintaining our Catholic and Marist identity is far from inevitable; now more than ever, this must be deliberately chosen and crafted. Today, we continue Marcellin’s vision of placing Jesus Christ, who he was and what he taught, at the heart of a Catholic education; Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of all that we do at this College.

To mark our sesquicentenary celebration, each student received a badge to wear on their College blazers as a reminder of Jesus as an inspiring model for how to live one’s life well, caring for oneself, and for the common good of all.