Marists are men and women, called to do the work of Mary in her name and with her spirit. Marists are members of the Society of Mary, a family of many branches, lay, priests, Brothers and Sisters.
Lay Marists in New Zealand form part of the international network of Laity living as Marists in ordinary life. In New Zealand there are two main expressions of Marist Laity for adults:
- The Association of Mary
- The Marian Mothers
The Association of Mary
This is open to men and women from all walks of life.
Association members seek to live Marist spirituality in ordinary life and there are a number of ways to connect with this association.
- Attend a monthly group meeting where there is input and reflection by CD on a topic of faith and life with a Marist perspective. This allows you to associate with and encourage others who are living this Marist way.
- Receive monthly news and reflections by email.
- There is the opportunity to choose stages of belonging and formation. Mary’s call invites us to stages of simple commitment which can lead toward personal identity as a Lay Marist. Traditionally this commitment was within the Third Order of Mary.
- Other Lay Marist groups such as family, children, youth, or men’s groups could readily be established as interest arises.
The Marian Mothers offers a network of groups of women who meet for prayer and discussion on faith and life with a Marist flavour. It is targeted toward those who have children at home but can be for any women.
The original idea of the Marist project was Priests, Brothers, Sisters and Laity all under the same Superior General, however it was never to see the light of day.
The plan of this magnitude was too complicated for the authorities in Rome to grasp, and too full of potential difficulties.
It was something hither to unheard of, and neither the Canon Law of the day nor the Church’s theology had any way of seeing clearly how and where this idea fitted in to the life of the Church.
Nevertheless, the idea of the Marist project as a tree of several branches was never completely abandoned by the founders of the project.
From the beginning and until it was definitively quashed, the idea had always been favoured by the early Marists.
Marist Laity in New Zealand is facilitated by Mrs Bev McDonald assisted by Mrs Vanessa Ornelas. They facilitate and support the groups and individuals with monthly material and news and coordinate formation and commitments, while maintaining our links with Marist Laity Internationally. The office is in Auckland with Bev travelling to groups around the country as appropriate. Retreats and formation days are available on request and these can also be made available to the wider parish community. The NZ Marist Laity chaplain is Fr Chris Skinner SM.
We encourage those interested to consider a subscription to Marist Messenger.
You are also welcome to subscribe to the Society of Mary’s regular publication, Marist News, an “occasional” publication distributed free when news is at hand.