2022-04-18 AUSTRALIA

Solemn Mass for the 150th Anniversary of Marist Schools in Australia

Marists of Champagnat in Australia commemorated their 150th Anniversary of Marist education on April 8 with a solemn Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. Marist Brothers, Marist teachers, Marist parents, current and past Marist students, Marist support staff, singers, musicians, ushers, altar servers, Marist Old Boy priests and bishops all led parts of the beautiful eucharistic celebration to visibly give thanks to God and the Good Mother Mary who has blest the Marist mission to education in Australia. The Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, was the main celebrant. Melbourne Archbishop, Peter Comensoli, travelled from Victoria to concelebrate. Mark Edwards OMI, Bishop of Wagga Wagga, who is a member of the Marist Formation Committee, was also a concelebrant. So too were Bishop Vincent Long and Bishop Terry Brady.

Br Peter Carroll, provincial, in his speech at the conclusion of the mass thanked to the Archbishop of Sydney to assist in developing schools for young Australian people, to the brothers to carry the missions, to the diocese to develop catholic education, to the parents who trust their children to the Marist and their support, to the students, to the teachers, to the staff, to the colleagues, woman and men who collaborate and lead the Marist education and to many others who help and support mission in Australia.

Br Peter also recalled that “the first Marist Brothers group arrived in Australia in 1872 with very few resources yet through faith and patience, perseverance and collaboration, imagination and energy with the blessings of God and the ever-guiding presence of Mary, Our Good Mother we have created something that will outlast us and that act of creating will continue after us” (read here the Br. Peter’s word).

“Congratulations to all the Marist family in this wonderful occasion. You have done so much good for many young in this land for 150 years. God bless you all!” said Archbishop Fischer, and finished the mass with the Latin, ‘Ad Multos Annos’.

At the end of the Mass all the Marist enjoyed a meal together at the St Mary’s Cathedral College Hall.
The sesquicentenary mass was streamed in real time so that everyone could participate. Watch here the video.

During this year, other events will celebrate this milestone. Champagnat Day and Feast of the Assumption will give local communities the opportunity to celebrate together and with local supporters. The June-July Jubilee Celebrations in the Province will take on a distinct Sesquicentenary flavour. There will be two books to launch: Sub Tuum, the Sesquicentenary History, and the revised edition of Good Christians and Good Citizens, which will profile each of the schools the Marist Brothers have led in Australia. And at the end of the year, the Marist Institute farewells the Australian Province and welcomes the Star of the Sea!

The bust of Br Ludovic Laboureyras, Founder of Marist Brothers in Australia

Taking advantage of the occasion, before the Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, a group of about 120 people gathered in the plaza next to the St Patrick’s Church Hill, a parish governed by the Marist Fathers, for the unveiling and blessing of a bronze bust of Br Ludovic Laboureyras, Founder of Marist Education in Australia, in 1872. The bust was a project of the Marist Fathers of Australia and was made by the Australian sculptor, Roger Apte.

In addition to Marist Brothers and Lay women and men, present also were ex-students of St Patrick’s Harrington Street, parishioners, Principals of Marist schools, and members of the Society of Mary – Father Michael Whelan (PP on sabbatical and originator of the project), Fr Tony Corcoran (Provincial) and Fr Peter McMurrich (Administrator who led the ceremony). Current students from St Patrick’s Church Hill acted as hosts, welcoming guests and participating in the ceremony.


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