The College was founded in 1954, the Marian Year, by the Marist Brothers, one of the largest teaching orders in the world with schools in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, North and South America and of course Ireland.
A belief in the importance of Catholic education, which inspired St Marcellin Champagnat in 1817 when he founded the Brothers, gives the College is special character and ethos where the family spirit of Jesus and Mary manifests itself in close co-operation between parents, students, teachers and Brothers in relationships that are life-giving and nurturing.
Purpose and Philosophy
The Catholic School is committed to the development of the whole person, since in Christ, the perfect person, all human values find their fulfilment and unity. Its duty to cultivate human values in accordance with its particular mission to serve all man has its origin in the figure of Christ. Its task is fundamentally a synthesis of culture and faith, and a synthesis of faith and life. (Sacred Congregation for Christian Education, 1977)
The Marist School, as envisaged by Father Champagnat (founder of the Marist Brothers - now St Marcellin Champagnat) offers families and approach to education which draws faith, culture and life into harmony. It is an approach which stresses the values of self-forgetfulness and openness to others, which presents culture as a way of drawing people together, and proposes knowledge as a duty of service. Marist schools, which provide a particularly favourable setting for Christian education, give priority to a pastoral care that is adapted to the needs of young people, and which gives particular attention to pupils who are in difficulty. Marist Schools, which are open to any family that accepts our educational approach, encourage dialogue between persons of different cultures and different beliefs.
The Marist view of their own roles as educators has been articulated in a recent booklet entitled In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat which enunciates the basic principle that
to bring up children properly we must love them and love them all equally
From this principle flows the five particular characteristics which have been identified as the "Marist style". These are
Love of Work,
In the Way of Mary.
The booklet (In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat) expands on these characteristics with phrases such as
present to young people in ways that show that we care for them personally
establish relationships with them in their own space and in their own culture
we seek to be neither obsessively vigilant nor negligently laissez-faire
contacts are genuine and straightforward
an atmosphere of humility and modesty
our way of educating is rooted in real life.
live as members of a loving family intuitively do
each person should feel at home amongst us
respect the dignity and need of each young person
our leaders develop an organisational approach which reflects our values by encouraging a spirit of partnership and shared responsibility, while, at the same time, allowing for the responsible autonomy of each person involved in the educative process.
hard-working educators who are generous of heart
work as self-fulfilment
foster teamwork, helping the students to acquire a co-operative and socially sensitive approach to serving others in need
journey of faith
Mary urges us to do whatever Jesus tells us.
Thus the Marist school
educates in gospel values (especially hope, love, justice, reconciliation and freedom)
provides a systematic and co-ordinated Religious Education programme
makes collaborative decisions based on Christian principles and values
nurtures the Christian vocation to share the faith and helps students discover their particular vocation in the church and in the world
welcomes and involves parents as partners and assists them in their primary task of handing on the faith
provides for faith experiences for all its members (especially through Eucharistic worship, retreats, prayer and the sacraments).
gives active recognition to the role of the chaplain, the catechist and the counsellor
places strong emphasis on a sense of self-worth and self-esteem
ensures that the uniqueness and dignity of each person is respected and responded to (especially through its pastoral care practices)
does not define the success of one individual in terms of superiority over others
facilitates the harmonious development of the spiritual, social, emotional, moral, intellectual and physical endowments of each person
provides a broad curriculum which cultivates cultural and aesthetic elements as well as intellectual and physical
encourages, supports and actively promotes the ongoing personal, Christian and professional formation and retraining of all staff
expresses a distinctly Christian view of what it means to be human
responds to the expectations and needs of today's young people
offers a curriculum which is relevant to individual students
values openness to change and is sensitive to opportunities for innovation and diversification
develops knowledge and skills for coping with technological change
sees education as a life-long process
exercises a prophetic role in society especially on such issues as Justice, Peace and the Environment
makes Mary known and loved as one who will lead to Jesus
leads students to imitate Mary by listening to God in their lives and by being attentive to and serving others
leads staff to be a caring presence for each other and for the students
fosters a family spirit that manifests itself in close co-operation between parents, students and teachers.
The Marist Brothers are the Trustees of the school. They fulfil the role of Patron under the terms of the 1998 Education Act.
The Trustees' role is to be supportive of the Board, Staff and Principal, to listen to the concerns and proposals expressed by the Board and to respond appropriately in keeping with the Trustee's responsibilities and agreed procedures. The Trustees are therefore committed to building up mutual trust, vision and energy towards the solution of the problems facing the College at this time.
The Trustees intend, despite the continuing difficulties being experienced by all religious communities in relation to ageing personnel and the shortage of vocations, to continue to be involved in the life of the College for as long as Brothers are available. The Marist Brothers will therefore continue to maintain a community at Marian College, whose presence will continue to be supportive of the College and which will offer a real and meaningful opportunity for continuing involvement in the Christian education of young people, especially those experiencing greatest difficulty in any way.
The College Community is part of the Europe West Central Province of the Marist Brothers which consists of Marist Communities in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Provincial, Bro Joe McKee, is based in Brussels, and the Irish representative on the Provincial Council is Bro PJ McGowan, Marist Brothers, Clondalkin, Dublin.
At present, the Marist Community at Marian College consists of Bro John Hyland (Superior), Bro Declan Duffy, Bro Hilary Costello, Bro Bonaventure Frain and Bro Finian O'Byrne.