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Five Characteristics of a Marist School

For some time now, we have been trying to create a greater awareness of our five Marist Characteristics and I thought that perhaps our wider Marist community would benefit from and have a better understanding of what makes our Marist schools different to many other schools. This certainly does not imply that we are better or more special than other schools. But we, as a Marist school should be aware of and certainly understand what we ought to live by, as a Marist family, and to serve those around us. We have been using one of our Marist characteristics each week to focus our staff and students on certain aspects of our Marist charism. (You may have seen the banners depicting one of the characteristics attached to the balustrade when driving past the High School field on your way to work or home in the afternoons).

I believe that it is a challenge for all of us as a Marist family – parents, educators and students, to live out these values.  It may be worthwhile from time to time to sit quietly and reflect how each of the characteristics can help us become more aware of our gifts and talents – sharing these with others, or to help us become better educators and parents so as to make a significant difference in our young one’s lives.  Hopefully, one day when our students graduate from Marist Brothers Linmeyer, they will be better equipped as human beings with the values taught to us by our Founder, St Marcellin Champagnat.

I found a very simplified, yet apt interpretation of our Marist characteristics on a website from Marist College Emerald which is a Catholic co-educational secondary college situated in the Central Highlands, three hours west of Rockhampton. The College draws students from Emerald as well as surrounding rural areas including Gindie, Springsure, the Gemfields, Clermont, Blackwater, Tieri and many rural properties. (maristcollegeemerald.com.au)


Marist Schools are renowned for their ethos founded on a sense of ‘family spirit’ which are discernible by five characteristics which particularly inform ‘how we do things around here’.

The Five Characteristics of Marist Teaching are:

    We care for students
    We know each one individually
    We seek relationship founded on love – We are attentive and welcoming
    We earn trust, we foster openness
    We are genuine and straightforward
    We say what we believe and show it
    We are honest before God and ourselves
    We seek humility and modesty, ‘to do good quietly’
    We use simplicity in our teaching
    We encourage simplicity as a value in our lives, not seduced by possessions and fame
    We relate to each other and to young people in our care as the members of a loving family
    We undertake to build community
    We offer a warmth of welcome, acceptance and belonging
    We share life’s successes and failures
    We set clear standards of honesty, mutual respect and tolerance
    We believe in each student’s innate goodness, not confusing the person with their actions
    We give preferential attention to those whose needs are greatest
    We encourage leadership based on collaboration and shared responsibility
    We are people of work, ready to ‘roll up our sleeves’
    We work with total confidence in God
    We are generous of heart, constant and persevering in our daily work
    We prepare classes, being visionary and decisive in meeting the needs of our students
    We encourage our students to discover the dignity of work, a source of self- fulfilment
    We view work as a way to bring purpose and meaning to life
    We seek to develop strong character and resilience, balanced moral conscience and solid values
    We foster motivation and teamwork
    We see Mary as a perfect model of the Marist educator – as an exemplar of the Christian life, as mother, as one who praised God
    We see Mary as a woman on a journey of Faith
    We believe Mary had a difficult life and ‘dust on her feet’
    We consciously bring a Marial dimension to our teaching by prayer, imitating Mary’s tenderness, strength and constancy of faith

What can YOU take from the above to help you be the person you ought to be for those you love most?

Mr Gary Norton
High School Principal