Marist educators conference wraps up

A workshop for 38 educators from North American schools owned or sponsored by the Society of Mary wrapped up today at the Capuchin Retreat House in Washington, Mich., not far from Notre Dame in Pontiac. The four-day event, which was the fifth such meeting of what Marist organizers are calling the Conference of North American Marist Schools, was designed to provide a forum to share more information about the Society of Mary and its history and philosophy of education with lay teachers and staff members at our schools. 

According to Fr. Joe Hindelang, s.m., principal of Notre Dame Preparatory School, the conference was a time to meet and share ideas with colleagues from Marist schools in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico, Quebec, Canada, Atlanta and Duluth, Georgia, San Francisco, Calif., and Pontiac.

“In addition to the presentations and discussions, the participants had the opportunity to share information about each school and how we can collaborate for the good of our students,” said Hindelang, who helped manage the meeting. “They also were given a tour of nearby Notre Dame Prep and Marist Academy by student volunteers.” He said there also was time to pray, eat and relax together and take a tour of downtown Detroit. 

Participants heard from four presenters: Fr. Alois Greiler, s.m., from Germany; Mr. Mike Coveny and Fr. Bill Rowland, s.m., from Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia; and Fr. James Strasz, s.m., from Notre Dame Prep and Marist Academy in Pontiac, Michigan. Topics discussed included Marist historical themes, the inspiration of Fr. Jean-Claude Colin, Marist spirituality, elements and characteristics of Marist education and lessons learned from Mary as to help the educators go about living a more Marian spirit at their schools.

“There was a positive spirit and participants found it to be an enriching experience,” Hindelang added. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share information about the Marist spirit and philosophy of education. Participants from each school discussed plans on how to bring this experience back to their schools so they continue to be places where Mary, the first disciple, is alive through us, still leading people to her Son, Jesus.” 

Society of Mary/Marist websites in North America

NDPMA, Pontiac, Mich. —
Colegio Franco Inglés AC, Mexico City, Mexico —
Pedro Chanel School, Guadalajara, Mexico —
Marist School, Atlanta, Ga. –
Notre Dame Academy, Duluth, –
Notre Dame des Victoires, San Francisco, Calif. –
Maristengymnasium Fürstenzell, Fuerstenzell, Germany –
Seminary of the Marist Fathers, Quebec, Canada –

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at