Faith, Fun & "Free Bird": Marist Celebrates St. Peter Chanel Day

Marist School celebrated St. Peter Chanel Day on Thursday, April 25, an event deeply embedded in the school's history and cherished traditions. The day-long celebration has become a hallmark of the Marist experience for many students. While many may look forward to the time spent outside of the classroom socializing with friends, playing games, and listening to live music from the student bands, the morning begins with a Mass to remind all gathered of the reason for the festivities. The occasion pays homage to St. Peter Chanel, the first Marist saint martyred on the island of Futuna, whose selfless dedication to Christ serves as an inspiration.
Bishop Joel M. Konzen, S.M., former Marist principal and current auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, presided over Mass. Bishop Konzen's homily encouraged Marist faculty, staff, and students to heed the call to dedicate their lives to Christ, drawing parallels between the missionary journey of St. Peter Chanel and everyday opportunities for service.

A highlight of the day was the commissioning of 42 juniors as extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, tasked with serving the school community in the upcoming academic year. This important moment underscored the school's commitment to nurturing leadership and spiritual growth among students.

“Our students really work hard and are so conscientious, so St. Peter Chanel Day is a great idea,” commented Marist School President J. D. Childs. This year marked Childs’s first St. Peter Chanel Day at Marist. “I appreciated starting the day with Mass with Bishop Konzen and the other Marist priests. Then, it was just great to see our students enjoying themselves, hanging out with their friends, playing games, and listening to great music from their fellow students. The day gives everyone a little extra bit of energy and joy to make our last academic push of the year and cross that finish line!”

Campus came alive with a vibrant array of activities and entertainment. After a mostly chilly week, the sun came out for this special occasion. Food trucks and live student bands filled the flagpole area, and athletic competitions unfolded across various fields. A favorite feature was the traditional "Senior Beach," a designated senior area complete with bounce houses and other attractions.

Throughout the day, students enjoyed a variety of activities, including pickleball, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, softball, and dodgeball tournaments. The Marist Broadcasting Club (MBC) ensured that the festivities were captured for posterity, providing live coverage of nearly five hours of impressive student performances.

Culminating the celebrations was an electrifying performance of "Free Bird" by the student group known as the "Friday Five," which included Jayce Malec ’24, Taylor Norris ’24, Robert Babin ’25, Colin O’Toole ’26, and Sam Eckstein ’26. The numerous performances throughout the day are a longstanding tradition showcasing the talent of Marist’s fine arts students.

Behind the scenes, the success of St. Peter Chanel Day owes much to the dedication of the junior class. Meticulously planning and executing the event, these students exemplify the spirit of service and stewardship that defines the Marist Way. It is to these students and their support system that we express our gratitude for making these timeless Marist memories possible.

View photos from the 2024 St. Peter Chanel Day.

Watch the recording of the live musical performances.

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers