Br. Augustine Mannes was the third boy of his family to join the Marist Brothers. In 1941 he volunteered to teach in the North Solomon Islands in a new mission on Bougainville. When the Japanese invaded in 1942, Br. Augustine was captured, along with two other brothers and taken away on a ship, never to be heard of again. It is believed they were executed by the Japanese on nearby Sohano Island. Br Augustine was thirty four when he died. There are three headstones situated in different cemeteries that recall the memory of the three brothers and the sacrifice they made for the mission of evangelisation entrusted to them.
Redemptorist priest, Fr. John Carnie became College Chaplain in 1985 and remained at the College until he died in 2010. Throughout, he led through presence, listening and compassion and was a positive example to all he met. Fr John was everyone’s best friend. He had the knack of making everyone feel loved and important because he developed real relationships. He took the time to get to know each student by name and really listened with genuine interest and concern for both students and their families. Fr John kept a keen interest in the boys when they left school. He was frequently invited to their birthday parties and asked to officiate at their weddings. A sculpture of Fr John graces the bank of the College’s main oval.
Chirat House is named for Marie-Therese Chirat. Marie-Therese was the mother of St. Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of Marist education. Marie-Therese was a significant influence in Marcellin’s life: she continually encouraged and supported him through his challenges and successes, and she developed in him a Marian spirituality that characterises our Marist Institute. Today, we are inspired by Marie-Therese’s courage, strength, virtue and her faith. Marie-Therese’s life was inspired by the Gospel of Jesus and the example of Mary, Our Good Mother. Let ours be also.
Marcellin Champagnat grew up in France. In 1816 be was ordained a priest. The day after his ordination he, and a number of other newly ordained priests, committed themselves to establish a Society of Mary. Marcellin founded the Marist Brothers in 1817 and became a founder of Marist education. God chose him as an educator to bring hope and the message of Jesus’ love to children and young people. Marcellin prayed often to Mary, the mother of Jesus and placed the Institute of the Marist Brothers under her protection.
Br Patrick Faulkner was born in Mintaro in South Australia, the fourth of seven children. He joined the Marist Brothers and in 1948 began his incredible journey as a missionary. This took him to Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, at which time he completed his Arts Degree at the University of Pretoria. Following a brief return to Australia, becoming Principal of St Joseph’s College East Brunswick, he was asked to move to Papua New Guinea at Kairiru and then Peshawar in North Pakistan. Br Patrick was a Marist Brother for over seventy years, over forty of which he spent as a missionary.
Br Nilus Kenny grew up in Bendigo joining the Marist Brothers in 1929. He embarked on a remarkable Journey as a very able teacher and school principal. In February 1950, Marcellin College opened with 107 students. Br Nilus Kenny was the first Principal of the College from 1950 until 1954. In these few short years, he established an excellent spirit of study and what was particularly noticeable to all, a fine Christian politeness. Br Nilus became Master of Novices in 1955. During the years that followed he formed many young Brothers to value the spiritual life as they prepared to become Marist Brothers. He inspired confidence, being considerate of others, especially those who were most in need of a kind word or a helping hand. Br Nilus modelled himself on St Marcellin Champagnat and exhibited many of the virtues of the saintly Founder.
After his ordination as a priest on 22nd July 1816, Marcellin Champagnat was appointed assistant priest at Lavalla. The isolation and poverty of the people in this area weighed heavily on him. Little pastoral care was available for young people in the French countryside. On January 2nd January 1817, Marcellin brought together his first two followers. Others soon joined them. Lavalla became the birthplace of Marist Education. Marcellin lived among his Brothers, teaching them to pray and to live the Gospel in ordinary French life. Marcellin’s spirituality was based on each person having a sense of the Presence of a loving and faithful God, on leading a committed life and on taking Mary as, in his words, “our good Mother”.
Br Sylvester Mannes was one of three brothers from an excellent Bendigo family to join the Marist Brothers. A graduate in Arts from the University of Adelaide, Br Sylvester taught for ten years before assuming the successive principalships of five schools. This included being principal of Marcellin College Camberwell (1959 – 1962) and then Marcellin College Bulleen (1963 – 1965). He became an active member of the Headmasters’ Conference and secured the admission of the College into the Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria. Br Sylvester’s love of Mary, the Mother of Jesus inspired him throughout his life.
Marcellin Champagnat was born in the small village of Marlhes in southern France in 1789. Ideas about social progress and solidarity flowing from the French Revolution were having their impact even in such isolated villages. Marcellin’s character was shaped by his family at Marlhes. His abundant common sense, devotion to Mary, strength of character, practical skills and unshakable determination made up for his lack of formal education. From a young age, Marcellin showed enterprise, imagination and foresight. His family nurtured and strengthened his first steps as a believer, helping him to deepen his faith and prayer life, and to awaken his love of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Br Placidus Redden grew up in Adelaide and took his first vows with the Marist Brothers in 1915. He was an outstanding teacher with a winning personality. Br Placidus had the gift of forming real and lasting friendships. He was a natural leader, assuming the principalship of five schools before becoming the first Provincial of the Melbourne Province of the Marist Brothers. Marcellin College names its Resource Centre after him.