The original vision for the Marist project saw 'the whole world Marist', through the lives of countless lay people taking on the spirit of Mary and sending ripples of Gospel vigour throughout the secular world. Lay involvement in the Marist Family first took the shape of a Third Order of the Society of Mary under Saint Julian Eymard. It has since developed into a wide variety of Marist Lay groups, formal and informal in different parts of the world.
Marist lay groups take on a variety of structures and works to express the Marist spirit. Some groups pray and study together, others work in a Marist ministry, and still others pray in communion with other Marists for the whole Marist family and their mission.