Laity in the Marist Project
Fr Jean Claude Colin, with others, founded the Society of Mary. Laity were in the Marist project from its beginnings and received our first Papal approval from Pope Gregory XVI in 1834. One of Fr Colin’s constant ideas was that the Society include a branch for people “living in the world.” In 1850 the Third Order of Mary for those living the spirit of Mary in daily life was given formal Church approval. The Association of Mary is a contemporary form of the Marist Third Order and is supported as a branch of the Society of Mary.
The World Marist Laity Coordination team Ireland August 2019
Marist: Joyful Ordinariness and a Common Touch
Marist virtues of Hospitality, Simplicity, Joy, Mercy, Solidarity, Humility and Daring Trust in God with a compassionate common touch, conform us to Christ as they did Mary, in a way that is ideally suited to today’s world . Mary helps us welcome the Holy Spirit and keep our focus on Christ. Lay Marists live Mary’s way with enthusiasm but no fuss, being alongside people, supporting and nurturing God’s presence in their lives. Jean Claude Colin encouraged us to establish a Marian church, with the heart of a mother beating at its centre. Together with Marist Religious we carry the Name of Mary and are committed to imitating her way of living the Gospel.
The Work of Mary
The name ‘Marist’ is a family name and you may notice it begins with the first three letters of Mary’s name and ends with the last three of Christ who is always our focus. There are four religious branches; Marist Priests and Brothers (SM), Marist Brothers of the Schools (FMS), Marist Sisters (SM), Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary(SMSM), and the Lay Branch which has many different groups.
The Society of Mary is part of something much greater which the first Marists called “the work of Mary”. This expression means Mary wants all people to experience the mercy of God. She calls others to share her concern: “I will give you my name and you will do my work.”
The work of those who live her spirit is to bring the gospel of love and mercy to the world. Mary has a special love and tenderness for those who bear her name. So to be called ‘Marist’ is to express our relationship with Mary, our commitment to be disciples of Christ like her and our desire to live in a certain way and participate in this work of Mary.