Each morning during the school prayer, we remember a fellow Marist school located elsewhere in the world. This serves as a daily reminder that we are incredibly blessed to be part of an extensive international network of Society of Mary schools. What once began in France as a small religious congregation of priests and brothers in 1836 now has 53 schools and colleges in 15 different countries, allowing us a unique global exchange of ideas and the opportunity to advance the Society’s mission throughout the world.
Throughout the years we have enjoyed international exchanges, both faculty and student, with our sister schools overseas. Our director of Campus Ministry and resident New Zealander, Fr. John Walls, is an example of one such exchange; years ago Fr. Ralph Olek traveled to his school in New Zealand while Fr. Walls taught in his place here at Marist. We have also taken our students abroad on mission trips to our sister school in Peru, allowing them to experience the culture of their international peers as they live out the Marist mission.
In addition, we coordinate with our fellow Marist faculty and administrators through the Conference of North American Marist Schools. We participate in this conference of our American, Canadian, and Mexican schools annually and even hosted it here in October 2010. During these meetings we have the opportunity to share ideas for school programming and develop relationships with our national and international peers.
The Society of Mary’s international scope allows our faculty and students to be a part of a worldwide mission that extends beyond our Dunwoody campus and the city of Atlanta. As we work to educate the whole student in the image of Christ, schools around the globe are united with us in doing the same. I hope you will join us in remembering our fellow schools in your prayers; that we all may continue to answer God’s call in impacting the lives of young people around the world.
Rev. John Harhager, S.M.