Aeau reveals pillars of Marist spirit

As St. Joseph’s College celebrates its 70th-anniversary celebrations, Aeau Chris Hazelman of the Marist Old Brothers' Association has shared the elements of “sipili a Malisi” (Marist spirit) which makes the school unique. 

“We believe and implement the five pillars in all we do and we are living the motto of the college: ‘strive always for the good’,” Aeau said. 

Aeau who is the Pro-Chancellor for the National University of Samoa, said the Marist Brothers traditions are founded on the teachings of St. Marcellin and the five Pillars of Marist values. 

The Pro-Chancellor outlined the four values underpinning a Marist education: simplicity; family spirit; love of work; and living in the way of Mary. 

“We care for one another, foster openness, earn trust, be attentive and welcoming, relationships founded on love,” he said. 

“We are genuine and straightforward, seek humility and modesty to do good ‘quietly’, use simplicity as a value in our lives, keeping our titles at the door.

“[We] relate to all as members of a loving family, build community, mutual respect, honesty and tolerance.

“[We are] always ready to roll up our sleeves, [our] generosity of heart is constant, [and we] discover the dignity of work [as] a source of self-fulfilment, strong character and resilience, foster motivation and teamwork. 

“[We see] Mary as the perfect model of education and Christian life, as a mother, as one who praised God on a journey of faith showing tenderness and strength.” 

When approached for a comment, Aeau told the Samoa Observer the Marist spirit is nothing new, it has been around for close to 140 years since the Brothers arrived in Samoa and now 70 years at the College.

“Any Marist [alumnus] knows that once we are together we are all equal. Respect is mutual and whoever has been elected as our leaders then everyone else supports in any way they can,” he said. 

“An example of Marist spirit, Tuatagaloa Aumua Leung Wai the Executive Committee are our leaders which means all of us from the Prime Minister [Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi] to the younger old boys will support in any way possible. 

“[But we] leave our titles at the door not just words, they are a way of life.

“I am not an active member of the Association in attending meetings every week but [that] does not take away the fact that I am Marist to the core. The Executive Committee and the Association know where I can help and they support that.”

He said no matter their stations in life when Marist old boys get together they are all fair game for good-natured ribbing and teasing. 

He added there is not one person who has ever gone through the Marist schools who would not hesitate to drop what they are doing and offer their assistance when called upon by the Brothers, the school or the Association. 

Aeau concluded by thanking the Committee for their leadership and hard work, and putting together the festivities which brought hundreds of people together.

“All the different Committees worked long hours behind the scenes, your service is greatly appreciated and not forgotten,” he said. 

“[We give thanks] to the House Captains and their committees for the diligent efforts in fundraising, organising uniforms, refreshments, and keeping everyone informed.”

The Marist Brothers were founded in 1817 by Saint Marcellin Champagnat, a young French priest. He founded the order as a way to combat illiteracy and spiritual poverty in post- Revolutionary France. St. Marcellin believed God called upon him to help young people, especially those in need, according to historical records. 

The Marist Brothers are an international religious community of more than 4,000 Catholic Brothers.

Today Marist Brothers are located in 81 countries in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania. 

There are over 600,000 young people in Marist schools around the world each year. The Marist Brothers are joined worldwide by more than 70,000 laymen and women who share in their mission.



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