About Marian Mothers

Mothers: God’s smile …

What is Marian Mothers

Mary’s role as mother of Jesus, mother of God and mother of the church is central to salvation and as Marists we support and nurture the faith and spirituality of mothers; when a mother is supported, a family is supported. Creating a Christian family where mutual love and care find daily expression, may be one of the most difficult of all human tasks and critical for the new evangelization.

Marian Mothers is a network of women who meet for mutual encouragement and support, affirmation in faith and motherhood, friendship, prayer and reflection on issues of faith and life for women and families. They began in 1981 with Fr John Allardyce sm assisting a group of mothers who were looking for support and encouragement in their role as Christian mothers.

Since then the groups have spread the length and breadth of New Zealand supported by Marist Laity and have now become a focus group for mothers of all ages, including spiritual mothers.

In 1995 Pope John Paul II said in his letter to women;

“Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God’s own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child’s first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life… May Mary, Queen of Love, watch over women and their mission in service of humanity, of peace, of the spread of God’s Kingdom!

Our Charter as Christian Mothers

This Charter of principles was drawn up by women at one of the first retreats establishing the groups and is continues as a key reference.  

‘For the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is His name.’ Luke 1:49

1) Motherhood is a gift of God, accepted in faith, lived in hope and fulfilled in love.

‘… generations shall call me blessed.’ Luke 1:48

2) From the first moment of conception, God breathes life into a child, making the mother and father partners with Him in creation.

‘It was You who created my being; knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being.’ Psalm 139

3) At baptism, through the power of the Holy Spirit, a child becomes a member of the church family, a child of God and heir to God’s kingdom. Parents, together with god-parents and the church community, are given the grace and responsibility for nurturing this new life in God.

‘We were baptized in Christ Jesus ‘ (so that) we too might live a new life. Romans 6:3-4

4) A Christian mother knows she is loved by God. God gives her many personal gifts; Jesus offers His friendship and love; and the Holy Spirit strengthens her.

What the Spirit brings is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control.’ Galatians 5:22

5) When a mother co-operates with God and His loving plan for herself and her family, she is nurtured by the Holy Spirit. She becomes holy; is a blessing, and a grace for her family and others.

‘The Spirit of God has made His home in you.’ Romans 8:9

6) The family is the basic unit of society and the Christian home is the ‘domestic church’.

‘The Christian family can and should be called the ‘domestic church’.’ Pope John Paul II

7) A Christian mother nurtures a love for Christ in her children and encourages them to live a Christ-like life.

And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God and people.’ Luke 2:52

8) A Christian mother reaches out to support and encourage all mothers and is open to receiving the same from others.

‘I thank my God whenever I think of you… My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more – Philippians 1:3-11

9) Mary is Mother of the Church, given to us from the cross by Jesus. Mary has a special bond with, and responsibility for, women who share her vocation.

Woman, this is your son; this is your mother.’ John 19:26


 Where are the groups?

There are currently groups operating across New Zealand. There are groups in Australia and the Pacific Islands, and a few across the globe. Please let us know if you would like to be put in contact with your nearest group, or would like to set up a new group.

How it works 

Each month from February to December, a reflection is available on faith and life for women and mothers. These are designed for a group but can be used by an individual.  They include a topic guide with suggested discussion questions and a newsletter. You can receive it as a written script, podcast, or if needed a CD. 

Overseas groups can receive material by email notification via our website. If you want a CD posted overseas we ask for Postage please. Anyone is welcome to sign up for the email notification using the form below.

Regional retreats are held for groups.

What you need to do

We encourage you to pray for all members of your group and if you are wanting to begin a group, pray for new members.

You can meet as often as you wish, remembering that the resource material is available once a month.

All groups are encouraged to make a small annual donation towards our costs.