Maris Stella marks Founder’s Day, Marist Brothers’ anniversary
A Chinese orchestra performance was part of Maris Stella High Schools’ 59th Founder’s Day celebration.
A wushu performance, music pieces by the Chinese orchestra and symphonic band, and a skit on the early life of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers.
These were part of Maris Stella High School’s 59th Founder’s Day celebration and also marked the Marist Brothers’ 200th anniversary.
The July 28 event was held at Maris Stella High School, which comprises both primary and secondary sections. It is the only Marist Brothers school in Singapore.
Br Michael Green, executive director of the Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat in Australia, was the guest-of-honour at the celebration. Upon arrival, he was greeted with a lion dance performance by primary school students.
In his address, Br Michael highlighted the common Ave Maria monogram used as a symbol by Marist schools around the world in their school logos and badges.
He explained that the symbol is held together at its heart by the letter “M”, which stands for Mary. Mary was special for St Marcellin and he took her as his role model.
Br Michael said that Mary “was a woman who put others first, a selfless woman, a mother, a person who loved. To be Marist is to be these things – faithful, hope-filled and loving.
And it is to be someone who increases how much faith, hope and love there is in the world,” he said.
Br Michael Green, executive director of the Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat in Australia, speaking at the celebration.
Mrs Woo Soo Min, principal of the Special Assistance Plan school, described the challenges that founding principal, Br Chanel Soon, overcame to set up Maris Stella High School in 1958, and to have its own site in 1967, where the school has been situated since.
From having to borrow classrooms in the initial days of the school and raising funds to build it, Br Chanel personified the five Marist values of presence, simplicity, family spirit, love of work and “in the way of Mary,” said Mrs Woo.
She also paid a special tribute to Br John Lek, who was principal of the school from 1982-1984, and remains an active member of the school management committee.
After her speech, the school presented an achievement report of its academic and co-curricular results, followed by performances.
Students performing a skit on the early life of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers.
A skit by students and teachers portrayed the struggles of St Marcellin as he struggled with his schooling, never ceasing to believe in God and Mother Mary as he discerned his vocation to the priesthood. The skit also showed his mother’s untiring love and belief in her son and the measures that she took to secure him a place in the seminary.
The celebration ended on a high note as students, alumni, staff and parents sang the school song.
Founded in 1817 and originating from France, the Marist Brothers have set up schools in more than 70 countries.