A Message from Dr Mark Bussin,  Director – Marist Schools Council 

Dear Marist Community, 

Greetings from the Marist Schools Council (MSC). 

Our context 

We hope to share some fun facts about our Marist world. Did you know that: 

  1. There are around 3000 Marist Brothers, 40 000 lay Marists, 750 000 learners in 600 schools in over 80 countries on 5 continents.
  2. We also have 27 Marist Universities in 10 countries. Some of the world’s best brain surgeons went to our Marist University in Brazil. Hablas españyol?
  3. Our region is called the Province of Southern Africa (Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). Você fala português?
  4. In South Africa, we have five schools – 3 in Johannesburg (Marist Brothers Linmeyer, Sacred Heart College, St David’s Marist Inanda), 1 in Durban (St Henry’s) and 1 in Cape Town (St Joseph’s). Praat jy Afrikaans? Uyasikhuluma isiZulu?

There are many layers of Governance in the Marist structures to ensure the successful running of our schools. Generally speaking, the School Executive report into their Board, who report in to the MSC, who report into the Custodians and Brothers, who report into the Brother Provincial, who report into Rome (our “head office”). Br Fortune is the Chair of the MSC, current Provincial Councillor of South Africa and the Superior of Rondebosch Marist Community, Cape Town. 

Marist Global strategy 

We recently had a strategy session and were lucky enough to be joined by several Brothers from Europe. Some of the highlights of the Global strategy include: 

1. A Global platform on the Marist website called Agora – where all our schools and communities can meet and connect. There is a call to action: The next steps will be taken through the Platform created to continue building the Network, in the area called Agorá, which recalls the square of the Greek “Polis.” 

2. Quality education 

3. Connection – and how do we help our province 

4. Exchange of learners, classes, and ideas 

5. Evangelization 

6. Social transformation – getting closer to the Marist Mission of supporting the marginalised 

How is Marist South Africa doing? 

We asked the Brothers to share some thoughts on how Marist South Africa is doing during our strategy session in May. I thought I would share some of their answers with you. 

Responses from Brothers: 

· St Marcellin Champagnat was brave. 

· Daring is in our nature as Marists. 

· The future is about creativity, innovation, and connectivity. 

· All belong, we have increased the size of our “tent.” 

· We inherited a value that we should not let die. 

· We need to challenge the future. 

· The older Brothers realised that they were getting older and sent in younger Brothers to SA to continue the mission. We expect more Brothers to come to SA. 

· The Marist mission is alive and well in SA and we have a long way to go. 

· The future is even beyond what we can imagine. 

· Today we have a new mentality and a new uncertainty. We can give answers that are better than one person can give. 

· Before we used to say, the village is my world. Now we say, the world is my village. 

Marist South Africa focus areas 

There is much on the go and things are busy. It is easy to fall into the trap of having one hundred things on the to-do list. So, we are going to focus on two major projects: 

1. Collaboration between Sacred Heart College, Three2Six and Dominican Convent School, and 

2. Setting up a satellite school in Alexandra under the “wings” of St David’s Marist Inanda. 

These two projects are close to the Marist Mission of supporting and working with the marginalised. As they unfold, more information will be shared. Closer to the hum drum, we continually need to make sure that our schools are financially viable, and we uphold our Marist Ethos. COVID is almost gone, but not forgotten – there are lasting effects that are playing out with our learners and within our communities that our school executives are dealing with daily. We need to protect our learner numbers and enrolment of new learners, and we have strategies in place to do so. 

I would like to thank our super staff, passionate parents, energised learners, selfless Boards, caring Marist School Council members and wise Brothers and Custodians for your solid commitment to all things Marist.

I wish the whole Marist community a good break, happy holidays, happy Christmas, and an abundance of health. The future is in our hands, and we all must work together to keep the Marist Mission alive. 

Fraternally yours,

Dr Mark Bussin 

MSC Director

Dr Mark Bussin,  Director – Marist Schools Council