The Society of Mary has owned and operated Marist School since 1901.
In the following reflection, Marist School President Father Bill Rowland, S.M. shares the relationship between Marist School and the Society of Mary:
The Society of Mary has a very clear vision about how a student is to be educated and for what purpose. A Marist education is never content with only preparing students to find a career or profession, as important as that is. Parents do not need to send their child to a Marist school if that is their primary concern. There are plenty of other schools, both private and public, that can fulfill that expectation.
Instead, the Society of Mary sees its primary task as the formation of students’ character so that they will become all that God intends them to be. All those involved in the Marist education of youth see this as a ministry and, as such, a “sublime task,” a “heavenly work,” a kind of “second creation.” It is a work entrusted to them by and done in partnership with God who has loved each student into existence and for a particular purpose or mission (vocation). The Society of Mary’s vision for happiness is not found in power (domination), pride (arrogance), or greed (excessive wealth) but rather, in seeking “…to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
And this important work of educating young people with the skills to discern God’s mission for them is done not in “any old way” but in Mary’s way. And Mary’s (Marist) way is one that when students graduate and leave our campus, they will know they are loved because they have been taught, counseled, and coached with love. And that love will look like, sound like, feel like, act like, and think like the love Mary had for her Son. Why? Because each of these young sons and daughters has been united with Christ in baptism and called to live their lives in such a way so that one day they will say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20) They are “young Christs,” if you will, and a Marist school is a type of Nazareth. There, Jesus was obedient and listened to or learned from Mary and advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man. (Luke 2: 51 – 52) That is how their time is to be spent at a Marist school.
The vocation of the Society of Mary and, thus, those who receive a Marist education, is to be truly missionary. Having been taught to be honest and upright citizens and learned in the humanities, sciences, technical skills, critical thinking, and life skills, they are to go from place to place proclaiming the Word of God and doing works of mercy. They give priority to those who are marginalized, oppressed, and especially the poor, be they poor materially or in spirit as are those afflicted with a secular mindset.
That, in a nutshell, is the vision for and purpose of a Marist education and how Marist School relates to the Society of Mary.