As a Catholic institution, Marist is committed to fostering the spirituality of each student. While we teach from the Catholic Perspective, students of all faiths are welcomed and respected. Through example and explicit instruction in the daily Religion classes, students learn the teaching of Jesus, as well as the Catholic traditions of prayer, service, community and justice. All students at Marist learn to incorporate into their lives in the five Marist values which are deeply rooted in the Christian tradition: Respect, Responsibility, Perseverance, Honesty and Professional Behavior.
The Campus Ministry Program enables each student to develop a life a prayer, as well as an ongoing spiritual spiritual approach to life. Daily prayer, an extensive Retreat Program, school wide masses and prayer services all serve as means for students to deepen their faith and live out Jesus’ Public Ministry.
Campus Ministry also provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate concern for others. Campus Ministry runs 4-6 unique fundraising efforts for different causes throughout the year. We aim to serve those who are considered “the least among us” and find new ways to better serve our community. At Marist, we live in a Culture of Service which means that we want students to organically do service not for a grade but to make change within their communities. We find that having students pick their own opportunities and find out what they are passionate about makes better servant leaders and happy volunteers!
We also partner with a local organization called JerseyCares which helps match students with potential service opportunities in their own neighborhood. We frequent the Hillside Foodbank, The Bayonne Beach Clean-up, and the Liberty State Park Clean-up to expose students to a variety of issues in our own community.
Every student is eligible to be a member of Campus Ministry. Our core belief is “Come as you are.” There are many projects throughout the school year that require student coordinators to take the lead and get other students interested in what they are doing. The office of Campus Ministry is designated as a safe space for students who are looking for an outlet or just someone to listen. Students are welcome to utilize this space throughout the day and are always welcomed with open arms.
Because of its central location, students are able to drop by the Campus Ministry office frequently. It is comfortable space where they feel welcomed by good conversation, a cordial atmosphere, and the availability of the Campus Minister. The Campus Minister welcomes interruptions and offers a local and affirming presence for the whole school community. This office should be an outlet for all students who want to share ideas, ask questions or learn new things. This office is the epicenter for all collections and donations that happen during the year, which offers a visible reminder of our collections but most importantly the people that we will have an effect on.
Campus Ministry at Marist seems to flow naturally from Champagnat's "great desire and legacy that we relate to each other and to the young people in our care as members of a loving family" (In the Footsteps).
Prayer is the center of activities at the school. Students soon realize that this is a family who prays. Every day, every class, many activities, begin with prayer. School Eucharistic liturgies and Prayer Services are held monthly, and sometimes more often. The administration and faculty willingly assist the Campus Minister with spiritual activities. Thus the students become accustomed to adults who integrate spirituality naturally. The Liturgical Year is marked, celebrated and integrated into the curriculum.
Students assume great responsibility for preparation and participation as lectors, praise dancers, Gospel Choir or A Cappella choir members, or in other liturgical roles. Some students enjoy making the gathering place (the gym) into a "sacred space".