2021 dad and son share Marist connection

Rivera_FamilyThe Marist world is often referenced in school prayers or in information about the Brothers. But for one Marist Chicago family, it’s a lived reality. Ronald Rivera, father of Jonathan ’21, attended Marist School in the Philippines. It opened in 1964 and is located on Champagnat Avenue in Marikina, part of Manila. The school serves students from age six through high school. Mr. Rivera earned a loyalty award for attending Marist all 11 years. He says his parents valued Catholic education and so he followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers who also attended.

While a student there, Mr. Rivera participated in basketball, baseball, track and field, and chess. He described it very similar to Marist Chicago in terms of academics and activities. He also recalls the Brothers there, including Br. Crispin Betita, FMS and Br. Paul Meuten, FMS.

“Marist education gave me a broader perspective in life not only as a Catholic but as a person,” Mr. Rivera said. “Faith-based education instilled in me the value of respecting myself and others, the importance of doing what is right, and providing service to my community.”

And so when it came time to choose a school for his children, Mr. Rivera was happy to have a Marist option, and a coed one at that. Jonathan’s older sister Gabrielle ’18 led the way. “My experience with the Marist school system was so influential in making me who I am today that I want my children to have the same opportunity which is a world class education and caring community with Christ through Mary as a model,” Mr. Rivera explained.

Jonathan is involved in anime club, cross country, science club, Spanish club, the theater guild, and sometimes pops into meetings for the book club and yearbook club. He said his dad has shared stories about high school, including learning how to code even though computers were not as popular as they are today and even less so in the Philippines.

“I think we share a bit more of a connection because now I also have stories about the Marist Brothers and my own Marist experience to match his,” Jonathan said. Jonathan is considering his next chapter of life, looking at colleges such as University of Dayton.