Core Values

Marist Way Core Values

The Society of Mary has core, foundational values.
These core values are important in order to maintain the “Maristness” at Marist School as it moves into its second century.
The Marist Way core values help all associated with Marist School to “be Marist" and live the Marist Way. 

List of 20 items.

  • Trust in God

    Marists trust in God alone.  Marists seek to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him. Marist students, likewise, seek to trust in Him in all things.
  • Tasting God

    “Tasting God” is a metaphor for spiritual experience derived from Psalm 34:9, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Fr. Colin likely came across the phrase in the writings of the Catholic mystics. It seems to express for him the power of spiritual experiences of God’s grace to transform a person. Fr. Colin used the terms in the context of spiritual direction or seminary spiritual formation.
  • Union with God

    Marists seek union with God in all their ministries.  Missions, parishes, and schools of the Society of Mary expand the globe, where they seek to bring people in closer connection with God.
  • Pentecost

    Fr. Colin suggested two situations where we might find the spirit of the Society of Mary— 1) the life of the Holy Family at Nazareth and 2) Mary and the Apostles in the early Church.  Marists sometimes abbreviate these key spiritual events as “Nazareth” and “Pentecost,” although the latter is misleading because Fr. Colin was thinking more of the time after Pentecost rather than the events in the Upper Room.
  • Being called by gracious choice

    The phrase “they belong by gracious choice to the family of Mary” is found in the Constitutions of the Society of Mary in the article on the Spirit of the Society. It refers to the Marists’ belief that they have been chosen to be Marists. Who does the choosing is not specified. Ultimately it is God, the source of every grace, but the early Marists believed that Mary played a part in choosing who should belong to her Society.
  • Discipleship

    Marists call all in the Marist community to follow Jesus. Marists follow Jesus as Mary did. This is a distinctive characteristic of the Society of Mary (the Marists). They live and share their Spirit in a certain way.
  • One in mind and heart

    The phrase “...that at the end of time as at the beginning, all the faithful may with God’s help be one heart and one mind in the bosom of the Church” comes from the description of the early community of believers in the Acts of the Apostles 4:32. This text inspired many religious founders to propose it as the ideal to be lived by their communities. Fr. Colin was somewhat unique in that he presented it to Marists not only in reference to community life, but also as the goal of Marist ministries.
  • Doing the work of Mary

    “Doing the work of Mary” is a phrase used by all the Marist founders to characterize the Marist project. The idea was that it was Mary’s initiative that inspired Jean-Claude Courveille to work toward the establishment of the Society of Mary, and she helped to make it happen. As a result, the Society was Mary’s work and her creation. Marists are called to busy themselves with the work of Mary by working to get the Society established—the task for the founding generation—and by maintaining it, so that Mary might impact the Church and the world through the Marists. The ministry of Marists is characterized as “doing the work of Mary.”
  • Church with a Marian face

    “Church with a Marian face” is adapted from a phrase from Marist Historian Fr. Jean Coste used in his article, “Toward a Marian Vision of Church: Jean-Claude Colin.” Derived from his meditation on Mary in the early Church, Fr. Colin saw a utopian vision of what the Church could be based on certain aspects of the Marist spirit. This was an ideal that the Marist approach to ministry might help realize.
  • Nazareth

    Nazareth is the town in Galilee in Israel where Jesus spent the first 30 years of his life before embarking on his public ministry. Nazareth was a place and time of intimacy for Mary and Joseph, and of growth in wisdom and grace. Fr. Colin used it as a symbol for several aspects of Marist life—the time in seminary formation before engaging in ministry; any time taken out from the active ministry to engage in contemplation and spiritual renewal; the life of the proposed contemplative branch of the Society of Mary (a project he was not able to realize); and the act of placing oneself at some distance from one’s active ministry to get a different perspective. Fr. Colin said, “I place myself in Nazareth and from there I see what I must do.”
  • Hidden and unknown

    “Hidden and unknown” is a phrase that from early on has characterized the Marist approach to ministry. Marists were to carry out their ministries in such a way that they themselves might remain “unknown and as if hidden in the world.” Fr. Jean-Claude Colin said, “When God speaks to a soul He says much in a few words. For instance, that phrase: ‘unknown and hidden in the world.’”  In English the phrase is usually stated in reverse order—“hidden and unknown in the world.”
  • Humility

    Marists cherish humility. They live a certain kind of humility that might be described as a gentle, unassuming way. To live the Marist Way means to practice this certain kind of humility on a daily basis.
  • Simplicity

    Marists promote simplicity in life. Their accommodations are minimal and their possessions are shared. They cry out to the world to “live simply.” This is a struggle in modern American society, but Marists are reminded daily of their blessings through their simplicity and give thanks.
  • Saying no to greed, pride, and power

    Fr. Colin told his fellow Marists that there were three fundamental points that should distinguish Marists. The three things that Marists should reject or say “No!” to are: the desire for material gain; the lust for dominative power; and the seeking of celebrity and prestige. Marist Historian Fr. Jean Coste suggests that these are the characteristics of Fr. Colin’s utopian vision of a “Marian Church,” the ideal that Marists try to realize through their Mary-inspired approach to ministry.
  • Ardent love of neighbor

    Fr. Jean-Claude Colin, founder of the Society of Mary, wrote in the Constitutions of 1872 that ardent love of neighbor was a fundamental Marist value. In paragraph 49 of that document, this phrase was listed next to the following values: intimate union with God, humility, and self-denial (discipline). This value is a hallmark of the Marist way of life, and collectively, these four values are key to living and sharing the Marist Spirit.
  • Being instruments of divine mercy

    “Being instruments of divine mercy” is a phrase that expresses the way Marists characterize themselves in their ministry. When beginning a parish mission, Fr. Jean-Claude Colin and his fellow missioners announced to the people that, “God sends us into your parish to be the instruments, all unworthy though we be, of his mercy toward you.” He often spoke of what helps Marists to become instruments of the divine mercies—practice of the virtues, prayer, and study.
  • Doing what others cannot or will not do

    Marists always serve people on the margins, the least favored or forgotten. It is easy to forget that originally, Marist School in Atlanta was located in mission territory for the Catholic church within the United States. The Marists founded this School in 1901 with the missionary spirit in their hearts. Throughout the world, Marists regularly serve in locations of the most need. 
  • Missionary

    Marists are called to go from place to place to spread the good news, even to the ends of the earth. Though they originated in France, the Marists first assignment was to serve in the South Pacific. At their core, the Marists are a “missionary” order who call all associated with the Society of Mary to “be missionary.”
  • Hospitality

    Marists welcome all. “All are welcome in this place” is a customary saying for all Marist missions and parishes. Although Marist schools in the world are selective, the Marist Spirit stays alive in the hearts of those called to remember and embrace visitors, to be kind to their classmates, and to respect teachers and administrators.
  • Inclusiveness (Making the whole world Marist)

    Fr. Colin once said, “Our aim is nothing less than to make the whole world Marist.” He probably had two things in mind—the potential for the Society of Mary to include everyone in its membership through the Lay branch; and the belief that the Gospel virtues and values of the spirit of Mary, which is the spirit of the Society of Mary, ought to be spread throughout the world. they must think as Mary, 
judge as Mary,
feel and act as Mary
in all things...

Marist School

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