January 29, 2009
Empowered by the Holy Spirit and
inspired by thedynamism of Blessed Chaminade's charism,
we—brothers and priests—vowed religious in the Marianist Family,
live in community as equals.
Through lives of prayer and Gospel service,
we dedicate ourselves
to the following of Jesus Christ,
Son of God become Son of Mary.
Wherever we are sent
we invite others to share in Mary's Mission
of making Christ present in every age and culture
by formingpersons and communities of apostolic faith
that advance justice and reconciliation.
Committed to education,
we minister with youth and in solidarity with the poor.
The Society of Mary (Marianists) is an international religious order of brothers and priests.
More than 600 Marianists serve in the Province of the United States, which includes Eastern Africa, India, Ireland, Mexico and PuertoRico. In the United States, Marianists sponsor the University of Dayton in Ohio, St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 18 high schools, 12 parishes and five retreat centers. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade founded the Society of Mary in 1817. Marianists have had a U.S. presence since they first arrived in Cincinnati in 1849.
Marianists believe faith is bestcommunicated through experiences of personal relationships and service to others. The quality and depth of community life is the foundation of Marianist ministries. Service is defined not by what Marianists do, but by how they do it.
Traditionally, education has been one of the Marianists' most active ministries. In recent years, however, the Catholic Church has encouraged religious to find newways of serving God’s people. Marianists have responded to this call by bringing their gift of community formation to parishes, retreat ministries and the arts. Efforts to help the poor, hungry and marginalized also have increased.
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, in collaboration with Venerable Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Venerable Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous, founded theMarianist Family. The Marianist Family is comprised of the Society of Mary, Marianist brothers and priests; the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, Marianist Sisters; Lay Marianists; and the Alliance Mariale, members of a secular organization.
In the aftermath of the French Revolution, Father Chaminade, a diocesan priest from Bordeaux, France, and Marie-Thérèse gathered a group of men and women to form acommunity of Christian outreach and support. They thought the community would attract others to follow Christ and would revive the religious spirit in France. This initial group became known as The Sodality of Bordeaux — the forerunner of today’s lay Marianist communities.
Father Chaminade had always sought inspiration in Mary and had prayed to her at Our Lady of the Pillar sanctuary during his exilein Zaragoza, Spain. He believed Mary embodied the gospel values and was the model of Christian discipleship.
Father Chaminade and his cofounders placed the new ministry under Mary’s patronage and protection. Members of the sodality shared a sense of equality, compassion and social justice, as well as a concern for individual spiritual growth. Within four years, approximately 400 sodalists werebuilding lay communities and living the concept of "faith in action."
Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon, with the guidance of Father Chaminade, established the Daughters of Mary Immaculate in 1816. The following year, Father Chaminade created the Society of Mary.
Marianists settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1849 and formed the Province of America. By 1961, the Province of America had been divided...