THE fate of Marist College, Rosalie (CL 16/7/06) signifies not simply the closing of an uneconomic community but the conclusion of the heroic story of religious orders providing Catholic education in Brisbane archdiocese.
It would be unfair to say that Marist Rosalie is a victim of these developments since that would imply there is a persecutor, a victimiser. Sadly there is not.
Three of my sons attended the school and it taught them well about the bigger picture of life and the need not to blame but to respond.
Faith and religion have become ambiguous. Marist Rosalie is caught in that transition.
The late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen the decline of Catholic education based on a model from the 19th century that began with unpaid religious orders and has now devolved into fee for service private education within various Christian charisms, ie Augustinian, Marist, Edmund Rice, Catherine McAuley etc.
Parents with sufficiently well endowed budgets can choose private Catholic schools, but those with limited budgets now have to make hard choices between state and private education.
The poet said we must not ask “for whom the bell tolls”. The poet gave the reason that no man dies alone and when a man does die then a part of all of us dies too … the bell, it tolls for thee!
If Marist Rosalie closes we should not ask for whom it represents a “death”, as if we are mere spectators.
If we do not realise that its closing has been caused in major part by the sum of all our individual and personal choices then we do not realise that its closure tolls a certain “note of mortality” for all of us too.
Christ is our resurrection. Is our education system Christ-centred? Will the Marist Rosalie spirit live again?