THE MARIST TRADITION
The Marist Brothers were founded in 1817 by a humble parish priest, Marcellin Champagnat. He was a man of deep faith and stubborn determination who saw a problem and wasted no time in providing its solution. The Church affirmed his sanctity and vision by declaring him a saint on April 18, 1999. His spirit continues now in 76 countries and influences 1.5 million students and 60,000 lay colleagues. It is a spirit of family, based on love and trust; it is a willingness to accept challenges, and to reach out in a special way to those most in need, those most neglected, those “poor” materially, or spiritually. This spirit now imbues Bishop Donahue High School as reflected in its Mission Statement, Philosophy and Standards, and makes it unique among the seven Catholic High Schools in the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston.
THE MARIST STANDARDS
Marist schools exist primarily to evangelize and this must be the first priority in our schools. Emphasis is placed not only on religious education but also on the spiritual formation. To complement our religious education classes and programs, “We pay attention to the religious environment of the school in terms of, for example, images, daily prayers and sacred spaces.”
1) The Campus Ministry Program is at the heart of the school and a central part of each student’s four-year experience by providing each class opportunities for:
-sacramental life -service
-vocation awareness -prayer
-faith formation integrated with Religious Studies
2) The school annually sends a student delegation to participate in national Marist Youth programs and creates a format to plan and implement initiatives from student leadership.
3) The school creates a religious environment which includes a chapel, classroom crucifixes and a likeness of St. Marcellin Champagnat, and representations of Mary and Marist symbols displayed throughout the school.
4) Each member of the administration, faculty and staff participates in an on-going adult faith formation program designed to foster their growth in Marist heritage, spirituality and charism.
5) The school annually sends participants to Sharing Our Call and creates a format to plan and implement initiatives from participant’s leadership.
6) Each School Board Member will receive an orientation on Marist Education and the mission of the school. A biannual Board retreat will be devoted to fostering our Marist charism and heritage.
MARIST RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
1) The Religious Studies curriculum is a full four-year program which:
-places an emphasis on the faith formation of the students
-includes a four-year vocation awareness program
-provides a four-year sequence in Marist Education Heritage
-is aware of the guidelines issued by the local diocese
-integrates opportunities for class-based prayer and worship
-is staffed by practicing Catholics credentialed in theology, religious studies, catechesis or working toward it.
2) Each academic department will identify and include within their curriculum topics that offer important opportunities for evangelization and faith development of students.
CARE FOR THE LEAST FAVORED
Our Marist charism is rooted in Father Champagnat’s love and care for the least favored. “In the same way that Marcellin was thinking especially of the least favored of young people in founding the Marist Brothers, our preference is to be with those who are excluded from the mainstream of society, and those whose material poverty leads them to be deprived also in relation to health, family life, school, and education in values.”
Our solidarity with the least favored must be shared with our students. To this end, “we educate students in solidarity above all in welcoming into the same school young people of different religious and social backgrounds, as well as those students who are disadvantaged or marginalized.” While providing for all, we give special attention to the personal capacity of weak and vulnerable students. We create learning situations where each one can succeed and is affirmed.”
1) The school will provide appropriate remedial curricula and instruction to meet the needs of academically deficient students (those significantly below the regular admissions standards for the school) to meet the educational needs of these students, fostering their academic progress and successful graduation.
2) The school will strive to provide financial assistance to its families.
3) The school will create a program to provide opportunities for significantly economically disadvantaged students.
4) In solidarity with our mission “ad gentes”, the school community will engage in active mission appeals. The monies raised will help support Marist missions and local causes.
5) The school will sponsor at least two outreach programs to locally disadvantaged youth.