Who are the Marianists? Marianists are members of the Catholic Society of Mary. Marianists embrace the idea of education as a mechanism to transform society, and have founded many schools and three universities. The Marianist spirit is one of openness, mutual respect, and acceptance.
Below are some distinctive Marianist qualities that influence the Chaminade educational experience:
Chaminade is a Catholic school. Marianist brothers live in a community on campus. There is an active campus ministry; many non-Catholics as well as Catholics participate. 60% of the student body is not Catholic; many faiths and backgrounds are represented on campus, including Buddhism and Native Hawaiian spirituality. A healthy dialogue among the faith traditions is appreciated and reflected in the coursework from several departments, and in campus life. This diversity and acceptance is part of the Chaminade experience.
One of the top priorities in the Marianist order is working for the universal value of social justice. Programs here are designed not just for the benefit of the student, but also for the student to know how to become an instrument of social change. An example is the Hogan Entrepreneurial Program, with a non-profit emphasis, to inspire business startups that make social sense as well as business sense. Many departments have designed an (optional) service-learning component into coursework. An example are the Tax Clinics, where accounting students get real-world experience helping clients get a much-needed tax refund –especially needed if the client is homeless.
Marianists believe in working to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, and injustice, to build lasting peace. Education is a theme that runs through all Marianist activities. Father Chaminade, the founder of the order, lived through one of the bloodiest and most turbulent periods of history – the French Revolution, and saw education for all as the means to solve problems in society. Other progressive ideals are: Marianists believe in non-violent solutions to conflict. Marianists also believe that peace comes from being in right relationship with ourselves, others, and the world, and this includes taking care of the environment. Marianists not only wish to be agents of change, but also that they be in right relationship with change, and embrace technological advance and the ethical use of such technology.