7 keys to Marcellin

1. Simplicity
Champagnat was of strong rural stock, an uncomplicated person who made no fuss, worked hard, ate sparingly, went by foot most of the time, found schoolwork difficult as a boy, and as a priest had a great love for the little people of his world. With his spirit we have no need to boast, no matter what our talents or achievements are.

2. Deep Concern
Champagnat was a man of great compassion - for youth, the rural poor, delinquents, orphans, the sick, the elderly, the dying and disadvantaged. We too can have this great compassion for those around us.

3. Open-mindedness
Similarly, we can be people of great compassion towards the disadvantaged of our society - whether it be through colour, race, poverty, addictions, handicap or illness.

4. Trust in God and Mary his Mother
Marcellin had an habitual trust in God as Father and in Mary as the 'good Mother'. This confidence in God and Mary can be a characteristic in all we do, helping to remove fear when we meet crises (examinations, misunderstandings, times of trouble) and giving us calm in times of failure or loss.

5. Strength of Character
Champagnat never gave up, despite immense opposition on all sides, even from those he trusted, despite many disappointments and increasing ill-health. We too can imbibe this spirit - we can fight on, stick at what we do and not lie down. If we make mistakes or are in trouble, we can get over it, not give up, bear no grudge and strive on.

6. Family Spirit
Marcellin specialised in achieving warmth of relationship in his communities. Young men were attracted by his warmth and the happiness of his Brothers. The community of the Marist school can also specialise in being 'family' - an accepting place where all students, teachers, parents and helpers work together for the common good.

7. Practical Wisdom
Champagnat had a strong practical sense. He understood his times and he adapted his schools to the changes that were happening - unlike so many other churchmen of his time who worked to restore the 'old ways' and thus caused much bitter anti-clerical feeling as the century proceeded. We too can be people of good, sound, practical sense, shunning falseness, developing upright ways, working hard, not making excuses, being totally open, frank and prompt.

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20 January 2021

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Marist Brothers

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