Marist Brothers celebrate 200th anniversary

Marist Brothers

On Saturday Bishop Patrick Dunn celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving in St Patrick’s Cathedral to mark the 200th anniversary of the Marist Brothers.

They were founded in France by St Marcellin Champagnat in 1817.

Marist brothers accompanied Bishop Pompallier when he began his mission in the South West Pacific in 1838.

In 1876 a community of four Brothers arrived to start the first NZ Marist school in Wellington.

In the following decades Marist primary and secondary schools spread through the length and breadth of  New Zealand, as well as in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Kiribati.

“Marist spirit multiplied significantly when Brothers and ex-students developed Marist sporting clubs in nearly every city and town so that today the Marist sporting brand has become a prominent nationally recognised feature of nearly every sport in the country, says Brother Richard Dunleavy.

As part of the Jubilee celebration Brothers Osmund, Mark and Alan Henley, John Paul Wilson, Anthony Walker and Peter Thompson came to Verdon College in Invercargill for a jubilee celebration which took place on the weekend.

It is 120 year since the Brothers came to Invercargill. They worked there for 113 years in primary and secondary education.

The last brother to teach in Invercargill was Br Osmund, who retired to Christchurch in 2011 after 10 years at Verdon College.

Verdon College was established in 1982 with the amalgamation of Marist with St Catherine’s College, which was a school for girls run by the Dominican Sisters.


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