Education in the Marist tradition


Cardijn College is a member school of Marist Schools Australia, a group of over 50 schools throughout Australia that align themselves to the spirit and ethos of educating in the Marist Tradition, founded by St Marcellin Champagnat in France in 1817.

Cardijn College offers an education that is inspired by St Marcellin Champagnat, who, when training his young brothers to be educators of youth, stressed to them that “to educate a child, first you must love them, and love them all equally”.  This was his golden rule, which shaped all that we do when educating our own students. This approach is shaped by the five pillars of the Marist ethos: namely Presence, Simplicity, Family Spirit, Love of Work and being inspired by Mary, the mother of Jesus (often referred to as ‘In the way of Mary’).

At its core, Marist education is meant to inspire young people to know the love of Jesus, and to model their lives on that of his mother, Mary, by emulating her humility and sense of duty towards others. Its goal is to help our young people within our care to grow into being responsible citizens and good Christians.

Presence is a way of being readily available to our students and being actively immersed in their world, and to model for them the values of the Gospel. We walk gently with our students, inviting them into respectful relationships with each other. We are conscious that young people yearn for relationships that are warm and welcoming, trusting and respectful, ready to foster honest dialogue, and life-giving. As such, we strive to create an environment where all people know that they are valued and that we make ourselves present to them in their world.

The young people in our care are invited to be authentic about who they are. Simplicity evokes the idea that we try to be uncomplicated people, that we are straightforward and honest in our dealings with others and don’t try to be anything more than who we really are. This pillar of Marist Education invites us all to belong to a school community that has a genuine concern and care for each other and that we act with a sense of humility and openness in whatever we do.

Family Spirit
Our family spirit calls on us to welcome everyone in the College community as a member of the one family. It leads us to be attentive to one another within a respectful and safe environment. We strive to help our young people to find a balance between their need for independence and interdependence. At the heart of this spirit is St Marcellin’s rule: to educate young people, you must love them’.

Love of Work
Through our love of work we enhance our own quality of life and it signals that to achieve our goals, whatever they may be, we must work for them. This work ethic within the school community helps each other to do likewise and encourages a sense of duty towards others. It promotes selflessness rather than selfishness. It stresses the importance of serious effort and, from time to time, the need for sacrifice.

In the way of Mary
This pillar encapsulates our Marian spirituality. As Marists, we believe that Mary is the first disciple of Jesus, and that we will come to know better Christ’s love for us by following her example of faith, strength, care and compassion. We model ourselves on her own humility and modesty. In following in the way of Mary, we are called upon to go about our work, doing good quietly and to be aware of the gentle presence of God in and through the ordinary events of daily living.