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La Valla - The staff journal of Marist Schools Australia


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21/11/2013: Australia


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Volume 19 Number 3


Australian Marist Schools Conference: Cairns
Ltyentye Apurte Catholic Education Centre Santa Teresa
Marist Mission & Life Formation
Marist North Shore
OLSH College Alice Springs
Marist Vocations Ministry
Marist College Penshurst
New Appointments
Marist College Ashgrove
Marist Youth Care
St Joseph’s College
From the archives
St Augustine’s College, Cairns
Galen Catholic College
Marist College Ashgrove!
Trinity Catholic College Lismore
Assumption College, Kilmore
St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown
Directory of Marist Schools
St Francis Xavier's College, Hamilton


Dear Brothers, Colleagues and Friends It was telling that in his two sessions at the Marist Schools Conference a couple of months ago, Brother Emili Turú, devoted relatively little of his time to talk specifically about the three Marian icons which were advertised as his theme – the Annunciation, the Visitation and Pentecost. Certainly, they underpinned what he said, but he was not at all concerned with giving a lesson in religious art.

Where the Superior General began his first session and where he left us in his final act of commissioning on the last day was not with intricacies of art but rather with living and breathing reality: he started by inviting us to reflect on the actuality and the directions of our schools and our ministry, and he finished by presenting us each with an apron, calling us to be the ‘Church of the Apron’. By that stage of the Conference, up the front and in each of the corners of the room, we were surrounded by phrases not only of ourselves but of some of the neediest students we teach. In other words, Brother Emili’s focus was on actual people – on young people in need and on us as the Marists who educate them and care for them.

It is a good thing that we theologise and that we symbolise; it helps us to make meaning of who we are and what we do. But the challenge to theology, to art and to ritual is for them not to become disconnected from that which they seek to symbolise. Brother Emili was masterful in keeping us grounded while at the same time stretching the horizons of our view.

The photos of the Conference which adjoin these words are of people. They are of us. The two hundred who gathered in Cairns represented several thousand Marists from over fifty Marist school communities around the country. The following pages of this issue of Lavalla are similarly full of photos and stories of people – of students and their teachers. They speak of the reality, the actuality, of who we have been as Marists over these past few months. They show us as the Marian ‘Church of the Apron’, and joyously so.

Brother Michael Green FMS

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