Society of Mary

Marist Fathers and Brothers

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Religious life

  • A religious congregation of the Catholic Church

    The Marists are a community of baptized Christian men, priests and brothers, who, heeding the invitation of Jesus to leave all things and follow him. They consecrate all that they are and have to the service of the Gospel wherever they may be sent in the name of the mission entrusted to the Society of Mary.

    The lives of Marists are governed by their fundamental charter, the Constitutions - a rule of life approved by the Holy See as an authentic way of living the Christian life. 

  • Religious Vows

    Marist religious witness to their following Christ through their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The serious commitment of the vows helps Marists live the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection and gives concrete witness to a new world initiated by the risen Jesus.

    By the vow of chastity, "Marists respond personally to the love of God.  They renounce the founding of a family of their own and by their vow commit themselves to live as celibates and to practise perfect continence.  Thus they place themselves entirely at the service of God in the world and in their Marist communities and undertakings." - Constitutions SM 95

    Mary was attentive to God's word, no matter how it came to her.  "By vowing obedience Marists dedicate their will to God. Obedience establishes and strengthens the Society’s unity, drawing Marists together in the common mission of building up and renewing the Church." - Constitutions SM 101 and 103

    Marists "choose to be poor to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  Like the first believers, they bring what they have to their brothers, and hold everything in common with them… By reason of his commitment to poverty, every Marist regards himself as bound to the common law of work and places the fruits of his work at the disposal of the community." - Constitutions SM, 106 and 108.

  • Prayer

    Saint Paul advised to all Christians to pray always (1 Thess 5:17). Basically prayer is a Christian’s intimate relationship with each of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As members of the Body of Christ all of us have the Spirit of Jesus poured out into our hearts so that we can cry out “Abba, Father”. Prayer, so expressive and essential to the Christian life, has to be at the very core of the life of a religious.

    Marists, who strive to follow the example of Mary, have an added incentive to pray, for Mary was a woman of prayer. She pondered on life’s events in her heart and, as a member of the first Christian community joined with the apostles in prayer.

    The founder, Fr Colin, encouraged Marists to be “men of prayer”, learning in prayer to “taste God”.

    Celebration of the Eucharist, praying the Prayer of the Church in common, daily mediation, regular spiritual reading, examination of conscience, an annual retreat, are all part of the spiritual rhythm of Marist life.

    "The spiritual life is nourished and sustained by contemplation of the word of God. This heightens awareness of the presence of the risen Jesus in the everyday life and work of Marists. His presence inspires them to make of their lives an unceasing prayer." – Constitutions 118.


  • Community Life

    Community life is important for Marists. Their founder wanted them to start renewing the Church in and through their own communities.  Their only model should be the community of first believers of Jerusalem.
    Being a religious involves a commitment to the common life - living in community and sharing all things in common.

    "Their ministry of loving service to each other in community is a primary apostolate.  The Marist community is a place of sharing.  The common life grows from searching the Scriptures and participating in the mystery of the Eucharist.  By its fraternal life the Marist community is a place for continuous renewal and conversion.  It can thus provide a sign of what the Church is called to be in the world." - Constitutions SM n. 127