Marist Laity are within the family of the Society of Mary.
Laity have been involved in the Marist project from its earliest days
and received the first approval from the Holy See in 1834.
An Italian Marist Lay woman expressed the dream in these words:
"I long for a church able to reach out unconditionally, a church which weeps and smiles,
shares and wipes away tears.
I long for a church which offers tenderness and mercy,
which pardons and loves with the eyes of the heart.
I long for a church which leads to an all-embracing meeting with Jesus.
I long for a church alive in the Spirit; a Marian Church of mercy."
There are two main ways men, women and families can associate with Marist Laity NZ; the Association of Mary and Marian Mothers. The information about Marian Mothers is HERE
Diversity is one of the hallmarks of the Marist Charism and Fr Colin, the founder of the Society of Mary had a sense that the spirit of Mary was to flow into the whole world. If you have an idea for growing a sense of being a disciple like Mary in your area; connect with us and we are happy to help discern it with you.
To intentionally bear Mary's name as a Lay person is to live daily life aware of being called to live the gospel of love and mercy following Mary's way in simplicity and ordinariness appropriate to our life circumstances.
It is possible to move through stages of belonging and and formation to make a simple commitment entrusting our lives to the Trinity through Mary in a meaningful consecration. This is initially for a twelve month period after reflection and discernment. It is a lay commitment as our way of saying 'Yes' to Jesus like Mary. We ask her help and support in the way we follow Jesus, placing ourselves 'under her name' and her care and commit to her work and her way of living as a follower of Jesus. Mary always leads to Jesus and helps us be more open to the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.
Mary was a lay woman and Marist discipleship is ideally suited to the 21st century where laity are being called to accept their full dignity and co-responsibility within the church for the world. "The Virgin Mary teaches us what it means to live in the Holy Spirit and what it means to accept the news of God in our life." (Pope Francis, 28 April 2013)
To be Marist is one way to respond generously to the call to new evangelisation and is open to all age groups.
What support is Available? All groups are offered relevant discussion guides each month from February to December. New Zealand groups receive a compact disc, accompanying leaflets, and a newsletter, to guide a monthly meeting. The written 'E' form of these is available each month on this website. Overseas groups can receive material by post (donations requested for this option) or by email notification. Interested individuals anywhere can sign up for the email notification. Ongoing Marist formation and renewal material is available for those who are interested in responding to Mary's call through the Lay Marist commitment.
There are opportunities for one day retreats in regions that wish to host them. The Co-ordinator visits groups in various regions when possible for prayer and encouragement.
Have a look at more pages on this site, especially what the Marist Spirit means.
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Today is a time of great change, a new world is being born. These times are made for Marist mission; the work of Mary.
The conditions that apply to doing Mary's work are not conditions set by Marists but by Mary herself. It is work done on her terms.
The type of work that Marists do is not what seems easiest or most attractive. Sometimes, it seems that it is suggested to us, as work that Mary might have done were she about, or what she might have realised needed doing. Marists try to do it simply – the way she would, herself.
The way Mary lived her life and went about her work inspires Marists to do the same. At the heart of Mary's work is an openness to all people, it excludes no one and is designed to enable men and women to grow and develop according to their truest call.
People can be weak, we sometimes slip up.
The work of Mary is in evidence when mercy and compassion are present and the doorway to Jesus Christ is open without an entrance fee and without demands that strict requirements for belonging be followed.