Marist fathers and brothers are members of the Society of Mary, a "religious congregation" in the Catholic Church.

Marists model their lives on the person of Mary, the mother of Jesus and seek to, as it were 'be' Mary and do her work.

In New Zealand, Marists focus their ministry on youth and education, have a preference for missionary parishes, and ministry outreach into wider society; beyond traditional Church structures. In all their ministries members of the Society of Mary remember the original call to mission among the Tangata Whenua. Marists live in community which provides a supportive environment for their lives and ministries.


Bearing Mary's name
Marist priests and brothers are members of the Society of Mary; they bear Mary’s name. Want to read more? ...

Doing Mary's work
The work of Mary is in evidence when mercy and compassion are present. Want to read more? ...

Living life as Mary
Understanding Mary and the Early Church, Mary at Nazareth, "hidden and unknown", compassion help Marists' to live a Marist life. Want to read more?...

Marist Mission

Youth and Education
Education is a challenging ministry. Yet, Marists' are called to educate and give hope to young people. Want to read more?...

Missionary Parishes
Marist's prefer ministry in parishes that are more missionary in nature. Want to read more?...

"Foreign Lands"
The Global Village, our environment, new immigrants, the City are some of the opportunities for mission in New Zealand today. Want to read more?...

Marist writings - sharing our spirituality

Jeanne-Marie Chavoin

Jeanne-Marie Chavoin

Theodore Chavoin was 20 when he married 19-year-old Jeanne Vercheres on May 31, 1786.

Barely three months later, their first child, Jeanne-Marie, was born.

Two more children were born into the family: Marie, who lived only a year, and Claudine-Marie, who married Jacques Millot, a local weaver.

A country girl, Jeanne-Marie grew up with little formal education (her spelling was never quite accurate), but with a great deal of common sense and good judgement.

The Chavoin family was closely-knit, and Jeanne-Marie’s childhood was secure and tranquil, even though these were the times of the French Revolution. By temperament she was an extrovert, for whom action was second nature. Being the daughter of the respected village tailor, and used to meeting people in her father’s shop, she developed an open, friendly and outgoing attitude to people.

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Marcellin Champagnat

Marcellin Champagnat

Marcellin Champagnat was the first of the founding people to succeed in forming a Marist group, and his company of Marist Brothers became the fastest growing and the most numerous of the branches of the Marist project.

This in itself explains a great deal about this most loveable of characters who did so much for the enterprise in his short life.

From beginning to end, Marcellin was a practical person, and everything about him reflects this: the way he understood the ideas exchanged at the seminary, the way he responded to needs, the way he formed his Brothers.

Much of this can be traced to his background. His mother was a woman of strong and robust faith, who more than once accompanied Marcellin on foot to the shrine of St Francis Regis at La Louvesc, when difficulties threatened his seminary studies.

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Jean-Claude Colin

View from Jean-Claude Colin's birthplace

When Jean-Claude Colin’s parents married in 1771 his father Jacques was 24 years old, and his mother Marie Gonnet was not yet 14.

Jean-Claude, born on August 7, 1790, was their eighth child. All told, nine children were born into the family. Claudine, Jean, Mariette, Sebastien, Jeanne-Marie, Pierre, Anne-Marie (who died at birth), Jean-Claude, and Joseph. Jean-Claude’s oldest sister Claudine was his godmother, and his brother Jean was his godfather, hence the baby’s name Jean-Claude.

His parents owned and cultivated a piece of land, and during the winter turned to weaving. The home in which Jean-Claude Colin was born was as secure and loving as any of the ordinary homes of Les Barbery where they lived, considering these were the cataclysmic times of the French Revolution.

The Revolution and the subsequent Civil Constitution of the Clergy brought a split into the Church, separating priests who supported the Constitution from those who remained faithful to Rome.

Continue reading about: Jean-Claude Colin

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