I recently had the privilege to say a few words to the Remar Gold Caravel. Remar is a Christian Leadership program with the Gold Caravel being made up of Year 12 students that have committed to the program for the past three years.
“Congratulations to the young men who have sailed together. Some for three years and others for a shorter time. When you look back on this journey, I imagine there were calm seas where you just sailed on through. No doubt there were also rough seas where you were tested as a caravel. Where did you learn more? I would think it was during the rough seas. These are the times when the most growth occurs, when you are pushed. This is also when your faith is most important.
Many people had looked upon Marcellin’s foundation of the Brothers with scepticism. These attitudes became worse during the building of the Hermitage in France. He was laughed at and ridiculed by many people. One of these was the local Bishop who told Champagnat that he was a "madman" and that he would not support him. The success of Marcellin’s venture, in spite of opposition, highlights his faith, tenacity and courage.
I remember fondly my involvement in Remar many years ago. It was in the early days when Remar was only beginning at Marcellin and I was just out of university. I learnt so much about myself in these times. The young men in my caravel pushed me to be the best person I could. They also taught me the importance of resilience and leadership. To be a leader you need to walk with people, listen and be empathetic. You need to have integrity and be humble. Leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could. As young Marist Leaders, your role now is to go out into community and live the Gospel value with decisiveness, perseverance and commitment.
Remar in Australia has been around for 29 years. You are part of a larger family of rowers all across Australia. That’s the power of Marist Ministry to know that you and many other have walked and will continue to walk in the footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat.
Let your faith guide you. Give yourself time and space to ‘hear with the ear of your heart’. Open your heart to Mary in prayer and know she will be listening with compassion. Marcellin had a deep compassion and confidence in Mary, and he turned to her often in his hour of need. Like the time he was lost in the snow with Br Stanislaw, but he was saved whilst prayer the Memorare.
Finally, I wish to acknowledge Mario Frazzetto for his commitment and leadership to this caravel. A man of deep faith and a genuine love of Marist ministries. Thank you, Mario, for leading this caravel over the past three years, the care and devotion you have shown to all members of the Eyrie caravel.
Go well young men and may the wind fill your sails as you set off on the next stage of your journey”.