Introduction to Marist Laity


This is an 'Introduction to Marist Laity' to an overview of the Marist Laity in Australia, emphasizing their role, history, and future within the Church. The Society of Mary's decree highlights the responsibility of fostering the development of lay Marist groups, in line with Father Colin's vision for integrating lay Marists into the global mission of the Church.

The page also details the celebration of the Fourviere pledge, with over 100 people participating in physical and virtual events that honor the pledge and the Marist legacy. A handbook is mentioned as a vital resource for leaders of Marist Laity groups, providing guidance for maintaining and sharing Marist values and practices.

Frank McKay's thoughts on Marist spirituality address the relevance of Mary in contemporary spirituality and how this tradition must be actively communicated rather than passively infused.

The strategies section reflects on Jean-Claude Colin's foundational vision for the Society, emphasizing the importance of forming small groups of laity to work as a corporate body rather than as individuals.

The handbook for leaders elaborates on the historical context of the Fourviere Pledge, noting its significance and the founders of the Marist family.

A video recounts the history of Marist Laity's development, from its early days in various parishes to international gatherings that fostered organization, structure, and unity within the Marist family, leading to the election of leaders to continue this mission.

Finally, the page discusses the evolving dream of the Marist Laity, posing reflective questions about its aspirations for both the present and the future, recognizing the diverse and dynamic nature of the laity's role within the Marist community and the broader Church.

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Marist Laity Australia

Foundations in Marist Spirituality

An audio course in the 'Foundations in Marist Spirituality'. Listen to the audio of Marists by clicking play to discuss the origins of the founders. Also available is a worksheet for this online course to be used in your family or community.

What is Marist Spirituality?

I think of Marist spirituality as kitchen table spirituality. That way of being and talking about life to me is Marist Spirituality. It is not that it rejects the theoretical. It is just that it assumes that living it practically and making it real is the real essence of the spirit.

Video - How do we see Marist Laity now?

In the past laity found out about Marist Spirituality through various parishes. This was led by the Marist Fathers, Marist Brothers and Marist Sisters. There were groups all over Ireland, but they seldom met together and did not know each other. In 2000 we had a big gathering in Longford in central Ireland. We had a liturgy then followed by a party. We got to know each other and forged friendships. In 2007 there was a lay gathering of lay Marists in Tourin. This was the European gathering of lay Marists. We met Lay Marists from all over the world. We learnt how to organise ourselves. We exchanged ideas even though there were cultural differences. We worked through them. We adapted Mary's Magnificat as the official prayer of lay Marists. We returned to Ireland fired up with enthusiasm. We set about organising ourselves in structure, formation and communication. The most important part was to establish ourselves as an authenticate part of the Marist family.Independent and also interdependent with the other Marist branches. We elected 8 leaders we call the resource group. These go out and meet with other group.

Blog - How can Parents live as Marists?

Being a parent is a very difficult job. When our children at different ages place demands on us. When they are born there is a continuous stream of nappies. When they are 2 they wake up at 2 am throwing up. As young children at 5 they want our attention. Mummy! Daddy! As teenagers they want to rebel. As young adults they confuse us and maybe do things we would not do ourselves. Then parents have outwards pressures like keeping a job to pay the bills. Like cleaning and tidying the house. Like mowing the lawn or tending the garden. Finally, parents have relational issues. Will the relationship stay together? As both spouses grow, they change both mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Do our spouses grow with us? Do they accept our changes? Do they want to spend quality time that nurture an already stretched relationship?

Gathering Formation Course

The 'Gathering Formation Course' is an innovative year-long program designed to facilitate personal and spiritual growth within a community setting. This course thoughtfully circumvents the potential biases associated with denominational branding by opting for a more inclusive title that focuses on the essence of formation and gathering. It's a strategic approach to ensure wider accessibility and appeal.

Online Fourviere Celebration July 23 2023 - Marist Millennium Pledge

In Sydney on July 23rd 2023 over 100 people are partaking in the celebrations of Fourviere. They will begin at Bradfield park North Sydney for the acknowledgment of country. will then walk across the harbour bridge like those first Marists who climbed the 800 steps at Fourviere. There will be a presentation at St Patrick's Church Hill, the first Marist church in Australia and the sharing of a meal. The pilgrims will then join a special Fourviere bus to Hunters Hill where there will be a Fourviere Liturgy and Final celebration.But for those who cannot join these celebrations, please join us as we celebrate online and invite you to join the Marist Millennium Pledge.

The Marist Laity - Finding the way

You received around Easter the new Decreta Capitularia of the Society of Mary, No. 112 speaks of the responsibility of the Superior General and his Council and of the Provincial Superiors and their Councils to foster the development of the Third Order and lay Marist groups. The nature of the responsibility is specified when the decree goes on to speak of your duty to 'initiate reflection and research with the laity themselves on how to integrate lay Marists into the global mission of the Church in the way envisaged by Father Colin.'

A Lay Womans Reflection on Marist Spirituality and the interface with Spiritual Direction

I have recently completed two years formation as a spiritual director with Spiritual Growth Ministries (New Zealand) and in that time my understanding and experience of spiritual direction expanded enormously. The formation experience did not change my spirituality, which is essentially Marist, but added depth and integration to it. In this paper I offer a taste of Marist spirituality, particularly as experienced by laity today and reflect on how that spirituality sustains and develops my direction ministry.

The Vision of Marist Laity by Father Colin

We believe Colin and his companions were chosen by Mary to have a special relationship with her and to allow her to continue her work through them. 'We are the bearers of a particular grace in the Church and for the Church. We do not hide it under a bushel, we wish to share it.

Introductory Talk for a First Meeting of Marist Laity

I was standing once in a big building when suddenly a sparrow flew in at one high window and almost immediately flew out again at another across the hall. It happened so quickly it might not have happened at all. And there was no sign the sparrow had passed. Someone who had noticed this common occurrence wrote that it was a symbol of the brevity and inconsequence of human life. We can accept the brevity, but not the inconsequence. We know lives matter. Certainly, whatever one's attitude to the meaning of human existence, everyone wants to live a life that counts. Everyone wants to live a truly significant life.

Handbook for Leaders of Marist Laity Groups

This Handbook is a resource for group leaders. It is important that leaders becomethoroughly familial' with the contents, share information with other Marists, keep theHandbook intact, and assist in updates as needed.

Marist Laity and the future of the church - Frank McKay sm

Mary has got a place in every life. Probably got a place in all our lives to some extent. We are talking about her having a fully place. What we are talking about is her spirituality in the age we inhabit. The Marist vision and Marist spirituality is not something infused it has got to be communicated. How is it going to be communicated?

Marist Spirituality in the context of Leadership today - Part 1

One of my favourite Gospel scenes has always been Jesus’ return to Nazareth and his reading in the Synagogue. You remember the context in Luke’s account - Jesus was at prayer after being baptised and the Holy Spirit descended on him and a voice came from Heaven: “This is my beloved Son”. Then he was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days - days of prayer, reflection, fasting and temptation. Then “with the power of the Spirit in him” he returned to Galilee, teaching in the synagogues. Then he came to Nazareth “where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He stood up to read, and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

Handbook for leaders of Marist Laity Groups - Part V - Marist Documents

The Fourviere Pledge is the oldest formal record we have of the intentions of those who founded the Marist family. Two of the priests who signed this pledge went on to become founders: Father Jean-Claude Colin is considered the founder of the priests and brothers and the entire Marist family, and Father Marcellin Champagnat is the founder of the Brothers of the Schools. Four of the signers—Colin, Champagnat, Etienne Terraillon, and Etienne Declas—became professed Marist priests in 1836.

Marist is a verb

The early Christians were not called Christians they were known as “the people of the way”. When we call ourselves “Marist” do we lose a sense of who we are? A noun or a name can be static. Something anchored to our memories. Rather could we say “we are people in the way of Mary”. So that the word “Marist” is seen more as a verb than was a noun. “In the way of Mary” is so much more active. It looks to the inspiration of the past through others who have come before us, to be active in the living moment as instruments who as John Claude Colin said “think as Mary”, “feel as Mary” and “act as Mary” did.

What is your dream for Marist Laity?

Initially, I hesitated as I did not know fully what this question meant. Often when Jesus is asked a question in the Gospels, he answers with another question. So initially, I answered “What is the dream of Marist Laity in 2023” but also “what is the dream of Marist laity in 2030?” In our discussion we drew upon a recent Marist Laity Australia committee meeting at Hunters Hill. In the committee meeting there was a wide range of answers as there are a deep array of lay people.

What is the Future for the Marist Communion?

This article discusses the future of the Marist Communion from various perspectives: ecclesial, Marist, and Gospel. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the implications of the step taken by lay Marists and examines the role of the Marist direction in the Church and the world today. The article explores the relationship between being Marist and being a member of the Church, highlighting the love and criticism for the Church as well as the unique character of the Marist approach. It also touches upon the significance of the laity within the Marist Association and the broader Marist Family. The author reflects on the challenges and tensions faced by religious congregations, such as the Society of Mary, in relation to the Church, and the need for a renewed spiritual anchorage. Furthermore, the article delves into the diversity and unity within the Marist Communion, addressing the distinction between religious and lay members and the evolving dynamics between them. Ultimately, it suggests that the focus should shift from the debate about the role of the laity to the urgent task of what Christians have to offer to the world. The article concludes by proposing the concept of 'Marist communion' as groups of Christians dedicated to living their mission in the world in a distinctive manner.

Marist Camino 2023

Yesterday was a very special day for many reasons, one being that it was exactly 207 years to the very day when five priests (ordained the day before) and 7 seminarians walked up nearly 800 steps before dawn and left a signed document at the Church of the Black Madonna dedicating their lives to Mary the mother of God; the beginning of the Marist movement.

Strategies - The Marist Laity Finding - the Way Envisaged - by Father Colin

The idea of forming small groups of laity should not be too difficult to accept for members of a Society with Jean-Claude Colin as Founder. His vision and procedures in founding the Society were anything but amorphous and indeterminate. In his lecture 'Structures of Government' given to the Framingham workshops in 1980, Jean Coste observed that Colin was not a latter-day Confucius proposing a kind of general wisdom with which many people could identify. Colin did not found a spirit, nor even a kind of spirituality. He founded a congregation. And he spent his life formulating its distinctive features. The Society of Mary was meant to be something specific and to work for something specific. Colin's conception of the Society was not a bunch of individuals merrily and zealously going their own way. He conceived the Society as a corporate body from which each Marist is sent on mission. Anterior and superior to what any Marist may feel called to do is the work of Mary.

Will our Marist way live on in tomorrows church?

By Marist Father John Thornhill sm. In his letter to mark the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 (8 Dec. 1999), Joaquin Fernandez suggested that, if the Society of Mary is to meet the challenges which lie ahead, we must be prepared 'to deconstruct all those certainties (and they are many) - material, intellectual .and spiritual which we have built up with great effort over a long period of time'. These 'certainties', he continued, 'prevent us from discerning the newness of God, to be free to proclaim a message of true hope and to place ourselves, in coherent fashion, in the midst of the world'.

A Basic Guide Leaflet to Marist Laity

This leaflet is simply an outline guide for individuals and groups who are Marist according to the spirituality lived in the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers, Sisters Brothers, and Missionary Sisters). The name Marist is a family name belonging to a great variety of groups: the four religious congregations: Marist Brothers of the Schools, Marist Sisters, Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary, Society of Mary and many lay groups.The Society of Mary is only part of something much greater. The first Marists called it 'the work of Mary'. This expression has a rich meaning: that 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. So when, as individuals or groups, we call ourselves 'Marist' we express a desire to live in a certain way and participate in this work of Mary.

Marist Spirituality and Spiritual Direction

I have recently completed two years formation as a spiritual director with Spiritual Growth Ministries (New Zealand) and in that time my understanding and experience of spiritual direction expanded enormously. The formation experience did not change my spirituality, which is essentially Marist, but added depth and integration to it. In this paper I offer a taste of Marist spirituality, particularly as experienced by laity today and reflect on how that spirituality sustains and develops my direction ministry. As a third generation Pakeha (European New Zealander) I have a deep respect for tikanga Maori (Maori culture) and te reo (language) as a precious taonga (treasure) for New Zealanders. When used I will translate Maori to English in brackets.

Where does Marist Spirituality begin

Marist Spirituality is about taking people where they are at. This is one of the strengths of the Marist Spiritual approach. It does not try to drag them kicking and screaming. It is about accepting in the first place. It is about building a relationship. It is about trying to understand a persons world view and respecting it.

As Mary Did - Part 1

Spirituality of the Marist Family. Here is what I want...

Marist Laitys role today

Jean Claude Colin said “Be bold. We are building a new Church.’ Some of you may have heard the saying ‘be the Church’. Colin and the first Marists looked to us The Marist Laity, to be the Church for those beyond the reach of priests, brothers, nuns and missionaries.

International Forum for the Lay Marist Vocation

The General Administration of the Marist Brothers, through the Extended Secretariat of the Laity, has chosen this 19th March to launch the process of the International Forum on the Lay Marist Vocation, coinciding with the feast of Saint Joseph, patron saint of Marists and also a beautiful model for laypeople, from whom we can learn so much.

Nazareth Renovation

Recently, my family visited some friends and relatives and their home. It was a very friendly household. We spent much of the time speaking about their home renovations. Painting the all the walls. Installing a new kitchen. A new bathroom. A large TV. Inside of me there was a temptation saying, “I want this too”. A perfect home with nothing out of place.

The Marist Spirit

This is a summary from one of the books in the Marist Laity Australia library in the Colin Library. It's about the Marist Spirit.

Living the Marist Spirit by Sister Jenny Clarke

I first met the Marist Missionary Sisters in Jamaica, where I was working as a doctor doing medical research. After a wonderful journey of discovery of myself and the Marist Missionary Sisters, I began my postulancy in Jamaica. However, it was not until I returned to Australia that I had any formal class on the Marist spirit. I had not learnt much about obedience either, and so, when Sister. Gail told me to read 'The Marist Ideal', I told her that I was not prepared to read anything until I could call 'Our Lady' by her name 'Mary' as the other sisters did. My experience of Marist Missionary Sisters in both Jamaica and Australia was that they had a familiarity with Mary which I had never previously encountered and it was for me the essence of the Marist spirit. Even at that stage, I understood that the Marist spirit is not taught but caught.

An Introduction to Marist Laity

Marists seek simplicity in life. Marists search tochoose the essentials in our own life. Today, welive in an information rich world which can oftenblock out God’s word and will. A more simplelife style enables a freedom to let go of the thingswhich prevent us from striving for and findingwhat is most important.