2010-02-01 AUSTRALIA

Marist seeing the world through the eyes of a child

The annual Marist Solidarity campaign is a program organized by the International development agencies of the Marist Brothers in Australia, the Provinces of Melbourne (MSO) and Sydney (MAPS). It is an Australia wide educational, sensitising to justice, and fundraising event or process that is usually conducted during Lent in 50 Australian Marist associated schools. This year inspiration has come from Rome, the Solomon Islands and Australia.

In 2009 the Superior General of the Marist Brothers Br Sean Sammon issued a challenge for the worldwide Marist community: ?We want to see the world through the eyes of poor children and young people,? he said. Marist Solidarity has adopted this theme for 2010 and, through its campaign it is asking its school communities to take up this challenge.

When searching for photos to create the campaign materials, it was hard to go past the image pictured in this years? poster ?This picture shows Year 12 student Anselm McManus from Marist College Canberra and Cassandra Ruia, the four-year-old daughter of the principal at St Dominic?s Rural Training Centre in the Solomon Islands,? said Br Chris Wills on behalf of Marist Solidarity.

?The picture was taken when Anselm visited St Dominic?s last year with his school and whenever the older students would go swimming, the young kids would follow. ?Purely by coincidence, the photograph has a strong resemblance to the canonisation statue of St Marcellin Champagnat in the Vatican,? he said. The statue sits just outside the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican and the cardinals see it as they come out of the meeting halls. It depicts St Marcellin Champagnat carrying a child on his shoulders.

?We are very grateful to Anselm and Cassandra for allowing us to use this picture,? Br Chris said. ?It captures a moment in time when students from our Australian Marist community took up the challenge to see the world through the eyes of poorer children in one of our overseas communities.

?I know Anselm and his fellow students found this to be a wonderful experience,? Br Chris said. ?I encourage all of our school communities to take up the challenge of thinking about what life is like for poor children and young people in other Marist communities and how we can help them.?

Read more about the Campaign in www.maristsolidarity.net.au/maps


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