Who we are: Introduction

Marists are people who are called to do the work of Mary in her name and with her spirit. We are
members of the Society of Mary, a family of many branches--priests, brothers, sisters and lay people.
Mary was a lay woman who brought Jesus Christ to the world, lived a hidden life in Nazareth and was
present at the birth of the Church. We believe Mary wants to be present to the Church now--through
us. Marists believe Mary graciously chooses individuals to join her family and to do her work and to
live by her spirit.

Mary’s life was one of prayer and action. God’s will was her first concern; God’s interests were her
only interests. Mary was the first disciple of Jesus. Now, she is a compassionate and merciful mother
to us all. She is all embracing; no one is excluded from her motherly care. Mary fulfills her mission of
bringing Jesus to us by teaching us to live a simple life of service, hidden and unknown, a life of
humility, poverty, self-denial and ardent love of neighbor, a life that says no to greed, pride, and
power--forces prevalent in this modern consumeristic society. Those who receive the spirit of Mary
also are sent on a mission to bring Jesus to others.

Since Vatican II there has been a rediscovery of the role of the laity as evangelizers. Lay people have a
unique opportunity to evangelize the family, the neighborhood and the workplace. Lay Marists
evangelize by bringing a Marian presence to the church and to the world, by making the whole world

Evangelizing the whole world is an immense task. It calls for the involvement and gifts of all. The
Marist Founder, Father Jean-Claude Colin, taught that lay people are called to partnership in mission
with priests and religious. Marist laity, as individuals and as groups, have often worked with Marist
priests, brothers and sisters in bringing the Gospel to the world. Marist Lay groups take on a diversity
of structures, works, traditions and names depending on circumstances and interests. The groups are
called Marist Laity, Marist Associates and the Third Order of Mary.

Taking on the mind and heart of Mary is quite a challenge. How do we begin?

We can pray, work and study with others who are answering the call to serve as Marists. We can read
and ponder scripture and Marist literature (click here for available materials). We may even start new a

The place to be Marist is where we are; the time is now