Each new year we are guided by the wisdom that springs from our spiritual theme. We share this same theme with Marist Schools across Australia.
Tony Clarke, Director of Marist Mission and Life Formation explains the theme in this way:
"The word dignity is derived from the Latin word dignitas meaning, 'of being worthy of honour or respect'. Doesn't this speak to what is at the heart of the Gospel message? That every human being, no matter who they are or where they come from, possesses dignity because they are created in the image of God. St Paul captured this beautifully by describing each one of us created as “God's work of art" (Eph 2:10).
We believe as Marists we are being called not simply to recognise the dignity of all, but let the world know about it by the way we live our lives for and with others. It's a call to roll up our sleeves and to live our spirituality on the streets; it includes the staff member sitting next to you, the student in the second row that often feels invisible, the cleaner on a temporary visa, the family risking their life in a desperate search for a home where they can raise their kids safely, those suffering from the effects of inequality because of race, sexuality, economic class or gender. Anyone who is at risk of feeling and being left-out or forgotten.
In this year of our Sesquicentenary it is a time for celebrating our Marist mission of making Jesus Christ known and loved among the young, especially the most neglected. Let us be encouraged to live this mission courageously though our actions and the witness of our lives. Human dignity is the heartbeat of the Gospel, Catholic Social Teaching and our Marist story: “Love one another as Jesus Christ has loved you…May it be said of the Little Brothers of Mary as of the first Christians: 'See how they love one another" (Marcellin Champagnat). Let our prayer be that everyone, especially the least, lost, and invisible are 'known and loved' as we strive to uphold, restore and defend the dignity for all."