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Marist Bulletin - Number 252


Marist leader, servant leader

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From May 26 to May 29, students gathered in Esopus for the 2006 Marist Youth Leadership Conference.
Students looked at the lives of Jesus and Marcellin Champagnat from the perspective of servant leadership. As the students learned about servant leadership, they also learned about their own leadership strengths and abilities through discussion and related activities.
A significant aspect of the presentations focused on the difference between leadership and Christian leadership. The hallmark of Christian leadership, as the students learned, is service. The lives of Jesus and Marcellin provided many examples of how they had to leaders and servants at the same time. These examples helped the students make a practical application of the leadership qualities of Jesus and Marcellin to their own lives.

In their own words

What did I learn about Marcellin Champagnat that will help me to be a good Marist leader? (Student participants)
• I learned that Marcellin was a selfless person who did not hesitate to roll up us sleeves and work on any project.
• After hearing the story about the Marist house he built for 150 Brothers (L’Hermitage), I realized that a big part of being a good Marist leader is having the vision of something that many think is pointless or not possible, and then making it real against the odds.
• That to be a good leader you must serve first.
• Leadership is not only about guiding others, but a leader must also serve others.
• I learned that he was a servant leader. He didn’t think only of himself and how he wanted things to be but also about the feelings of everybody else. He also didn’t just tell them what to do and sit back, but he did it with them.
• I learned that Marcellin was selfless and good risk-taker. He made good choices and decisions.
• I learned from Marcellin Champagnat that it isn’t easy being a leader. There are many hardships and many challenges that may get in the way, but with faith, anything and everything can be done. To be a better leader, you sometimes have to start things yourself in order to set the example. You have to embrace your gifts and talents and communicate them to others to be the best leader possible. Marist! Enough said!
• I learned about being a servant leader from Marcellin. Not only did he lead a brotherhood, but also he served a brotherhood.
• To open my heart to new people and new dreams to continue his mission
• Champagnat did not give up even when he thought he was wrong and even when people thought he was crazy. I learned that to be a good Marist leader you have to be determined to do good and never doubt God’s plan.
• From the life of Marcellin I learned that not everything can happen right away. It takes time and patience to become successful. It took Marcellin’s strength and courage to start this Marist community, and his dream still continues today.
• I learned that it is wise to lead by example and to help others without wanting to receive something back. I learned to try to be a servant leader so that I will affect many peoples’ lives. This will help me be a good Marist leader.
• I learned that Marcellin Champagnat was a selfless, humble individual who, even in hard times, kept his resolve and faith in God, Mary, and Jesus. The example that he set will help me to be the best Marist leader I can be.
• I learned that Marcellin led by example. When his followers and those he hired to build the brothers’ house refused to chip away at the rock, Marcellin picked up that pick and chipped away at the rock himself. Marcellin’s example in this particular case will help me to be a good Marist leader by taking up my role as a servant leader and lead by my Marist example. Marist Youth today, Marist always!
• I learned how he never gave up, and that give me strength even when I feel things are pointless because I now know that he didn’t stop when he felt things were pointless. He taught me to continue to serve and to lead with Christ in my heart.
• I learned that Marcellin Champagnat was a servant leader. He was selfless and determined and served others. This will help me to be a good Marist leader because he based his life on helping others, and I will follow in his footsteps and try to become a servant leader. Marcellin is the foundation of this amazing Marist community. He created this community with faith in his heart and hope in his vision. At times when I feel weak/hopeless, I must recall the strength that Marcellin had through difficulties. Because, had Marcellin given up or simply lost faith, I would not have shared this wonderful experience with other Marist Youth this weekend and embraced our community.
• Marcellin Champagnat had many good leadership qualities. These qualities will help me to not only be a good leader, but also to be a good human being. The main thing I will take back with me is to be a good servant leader. It is important to be like Jesus and be a servant first, then a leader like both Jesus and Marcellin.
• I really enjoyed the story of the brothers and professional rock pickers giving up. Marcellin didn’t complain or get mad, but simply started to do their work. It teaches me to be patient and lead by example. Marcellin taught me to never give up which is the best quality of a leader.
• Determination, dedication, faith, trust, willingness to work, able to lead and guide while still serving, humility, patience, strength, sacrifice, love, understanding of the emotional needs of others.
• I learned that one of the first steps to becoming a leader is to be humble.
• Marcellin was a man who made sacrifices for others. This tells me that in order to be a successful Christian/Marist leader, I have to be willing to make sacrifices for others and serve them.

Which of Jesus’ leadership qualities will help me be a good Christian leader? (Student participants)
• His selflessness, his ability to lead and serve at the same time, his unconditional love.
• His humility. The ability to be humble is a quintessential characteristic of a good Christian leader.
• Some qualities of Jesus are the same as Marcellin’s. He made sacrifices for people. That creates an example for teens to follow. He was very open-hearted, accepting everyone.
• Jesus always thought of others before himself. He even died for us. It can help me be a good leader by opening my mind to the differences of others and the sacrifices we have to make.
• Jesus was a servant and people were naturally drawn and attracted to his charisma. Thus, people were willing and excited to follow Jesus. I hope that with love in my heart that I can be that refuge for others around me.
• I learned that Jesus was a great servant leader and was always trying to serve others.
• Jesus’ humility shows me how to be a good servant leader.
• The fact that Jesus was all-forgiving and accepted everyone will continually remind me that there is good in everyone.
• Jesus was selfless, faithful, determined, and responsible. I will become a better Christian leader by following in Jesus’ footsteps.
• Jesus was a servant leader. I think that is the best quality that will help me be a good Christian leader. When you stop helping others for personal gain and starting helping to make others feel better, you give more of yourself to others.
• Jesus’ undaunted faith in what God planned for him, and his never-ending acceptance will be perfect examples for me to be a good Christian leader.
• If I had to write down all the leadership qualities of Jesus, I would never be going home! He, again, was not just a leader, but a servant leader.
• Jesus’ ability to serve others and think of himself as second to his people will help me to always be a Christian servant leader.
• Being compassionate and loving towards others no matter what their status, level of intelligence, attitude towards me, or other aspects.
• Jesus was a servant and a leader.
• If I follow the examples of Jesus, I will be a good Christian leader. I will need to be loving, caring, self-sacrificing, help, and patient.
• To be a good Christian leader I will lead by example, and I will try to love and care for everyone by not excluding them.

Why do you continue to choose to be Marist? (Young adult team)
• I continue to stay Marist because I learn something new about life, others, Marist history, what it is like to serve and more about myself. Every time I come here, I strengthen my faith and learn how to be a better person.
• When I came to Esopus for the first time, I knew this place was special. The Marist commitment to teaching love and service to Christ through Mary is very unique. The true family atmosphere and the welcoming smiles make me want to come back. My time in Marist ministry taught me many skills and responsibilities that I use in my college life and college ministry. The very least that I could do is to come back and be a witness to the younger Marist Youth. I don’t want students to graduate from their schools without learning and understanding the Marist charism for life.
• As a student at Our Lady of Lourdes, I had the amazing privilege to be only 20 minutes away from my second home here in Esopus. Being introduced into the Marist family was one of the most life-changing events for me. Due to location, being Marist was so simple because I was able to be reminded about what it meant to be Marist every day. Still even today, as a graduate of a Marist school and not always surrounded by physical reminders of what it means to be Marist, the amazing feeling I get when I am surrounded by my Marist family is always fully alive in my heart. It is a feeling that gives me direction, confidence, and faith. It is a feeling that has grown from each experience that I have had and with each person I have come into contact within the Marist family. I know this feeling will never go away.
• The Marist community has become a family to me. It is through my connection to Marist that I am able to experience the presence of God in our world. The Marist family provides a unique and wonderful example of values and beliefs and allows me the chance to both make a difference in the world while growing into and understanding more the person I am meant to be.
• The ongoing decision of being Marist is guided by the need to feel like an important part of a community that is always serving the needs of others whether those needs are spiritual or physical. It is about seeing the world like Jesus did, and to me it has been a perfect fit from community to community.
• The choice to be Marist has become a way of life for me as I aim my actions in everyday life towards Christian leadership. If I stopped choosing my actions in this fashion, it would be as if I was losing a sense of identity and insulting who I am. It is so significant to me that I cannot imagine any other way of living.
• I choose to be Marist because it keeps my faith alive and my relationship with God growing. Marist is a comfort zone of mine that keeps me strong and always focused. It’s my family who I love and trust.
• I continue to choose to be Marist because I subscribe to the message and example set by Marcellin Champagnat. His hard work, dedication, and capacity to serve on all levels demonstrates to me the life I would like to lead for my family, my brother and sisters, and myself.
• There is a sense of purpose that goes along with the Marist tradition. I find myself being lost in the moment when I am a part of something special like the Marist family. We are all dreamers, and it seems to me that I can fulfill all my dreams by being a part of this family. Plus the people are kinda cool.
• I continue to be Marist because it is my family. Marist chose me, I didn’t choose Marist!

What aspects of the Marist Youth Leadership Conference will add to the Marist nature of your school? (Adult team)
• The “Marcellin Moments” will put a human face on the concept of Marist.
• By its very nature, the more I can become Marist, the more I can give to the students.
• The enthusiasm of our school’s participants, connections to other Marist schools, and revitalization of our Marist Youth group and its expansion.
• I think the concept of opening up to those around you is what my kids will take back with them. Many of them are amazed at how quickly they became friends with people here, and I know they want to bring that openness back with them. The idea that they will be the leaders of the school excites them now that they have an idea of what is expected of them.
• This year’s Marist Youth Leadership Conference and last year’s Marist Youth leaders will come together as a Marist family to spread the Marist charism through witness. By effective communication of the Marist lifestyle, we hope to engage the student body and the faculty to become a part of the Marist family.
• The students will add the concept of servant leadership to their roles as leaders in the school community.
• I think my students now understand what Marist truly is – that’s it’s not just an order of brothers. I think they now see that are a part of something big as well as understand what we stand for. I think they have a strong understanding of servant leadership and hopefully will bring these ideas (and their excitement) back to our school community.
• The feeling of Marist family. Youth educating youth.
• The way leadership as a Marist servant leader was defined gave a clear picture to our group of who and what they represent. With this, my group and I can go back and define it for others.
• The aspects of service, mutual conversation and respect, being a role model, reminders of who we are as Marist people, atmosphere of love, work, and commitment.
The weekend has allowed the Mount guys to see how far Marist reaches. It makes them feel closer with each other and the Marist family worldwide. It shows them that we are all part of something bigger that crosses all borders, nations, races, and colors.

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