Bringing the charism of Marcellin Champagnat to the service of today’s Catholic schools.


The tradition of Catholic education that is known as "Marist" was begun by a French priest, Marcellin Champagnat, in 1817. Today Marist schools, colleges, and universities are found in over eighty countries around the world, leading hundreds of thousands of young people to be what Marcellin believed each of them could be - good Christians and good citizens.

Dismayed by the ignorance he found among the rural children of southern France and spurred on by a strong faith, Father Champagnat initially established a network of village schools. From the beginning, the school reflected many of the qualities of Marcellin himself: they were places where hard work and excellence in academic achievement were valued, places where the individual was genuinely loved and respected, places where a strong family spirit was evident, places where young people developed a positive sense of self, recognized their gifts and talents for the benefit of the common good. A special concern was afforded to those who found school difficult.

Above all, the schools were places that the Gospel at their heart, encouraging students to respond to it with the same faith and generosity Mary did.

At SJA, The Campus Ministry Department strives to help the Saint Joseph Academy community live out the charism of the Brothers and promote the schools mission by offering grade level retreats, communal prayer experiences, and service opportunities.

Saint Marcellin Champagnat


The mission of Marist schools is to lead young people to know and love Jesus and Mary, in the belief that they all can become good Christians and good citizens. Inspired by Marcellin Champagnat, Marist educators, before all else, love their students. Their Marial approach is marked by simplicity, family spirit, love of their work and presence in the midst of those whom they are called to serve.

Marist schools welcome all young people, whatever their circumstances, offering each one an education which draws faith, culture, and life into harmony.

The Marks of a Marist Student

We are Faith-filled Disciples: Marist students come to possess a strong sense of God and a personal relationship with Jesus, Mary and St. Marcellin Champagnat fostered through religious formation, a sacramental life, and prayer.

We are Empowered Witnesses: Marist students, recognizing Mary as their model and companion, become joyful witnesses to God’s love in their lives, enabling them to see Christ in others, to live simply, morally, and with integrity, respecting all of life and creation.

We are Agents of Justice and Service: Marist students grow in their understanding of Catholic social teaching and stand in compassionate solidarity with the least favored.

We are Servant Leaders: Marist students recognize that they are lovingly created by God with unique gifts and talents which, through their Baptism, they are called to develop and share with the Church and wider community.

We are Spirit-filled Members of Family and Community: Marist students embody a spirit which celebrates and welcomes all people as members of the one family created by God.


The Marks of a Marist Educator

The Mark of a Marist Educator is that he/she embodies all that it means to be a Marist. We embody faith. Our faith and personal relationship with Jesus is made apparent through our interactions with each other, with our students, and with the parents.

Inside and outside the classroom, we live simply, morally, and with integrity. We respect all of our students, all of our colleagues, and all of our community. We are aware of the presence of Christ in our students and we foster that goodness and love. We live the example of Mary.

We exhibit justice and service. We donate our time and talents to best serve our community. We display solidarity with all who suffer, with all who feel lonely or excluded, and with all who need a role model.

We lead through service. We offer our experiences and vulnerabilities when we lead a retreat, a Kairos, or a prayer. We give our words of love and encouragement to our colleagues and students in the form of letters, words and smiles.

Our Marist Family spirit and sense of community is made apparent through our attendance of games, matches, and events. No success is celebrated by an individual alone, but rather shared at a level of community unmatched by any institution. No failure or loss is mourned alone, but rather grieved in the nurturing strength of our whole family.