Marist events and stories about parishes, Marist School and Marist personalities are shared regularly in the print edition of our newsletter, Today's Marists. We invite to read about our ministries, missions, history, schools, donors and more.
From Today's Marists Newsletter
The Marists in the USA are celebrating our congregation's 150th anniversary of our arrival in the United States in 2013. It gives us an opportunity to consider our history and how God's grace has guided and sustained us, from our earliest days in America, when our next steps were less than certain.
Marists in Ministry Today: Building a Marian Church
By Fr. Ted Keating, S.M.
The Society (of Mary) must begin a new Church over again. I do not mean that in a
literal sense, that would be blasphemy. But still, in a certain sense, yes, we must begin
a new Church...
Jean-Claude Colin (A Founder Speaks, 120.1)
Still celebrating the richness of our 150th anniversary of our Marist arrival here in the United States, our minds are drawn again to our Founder to help us reflectively review our faithfulness to his vision and mission over these many years in the Unitized States. It is also our international celebration of the year of Jean Claude Colin in the global Society of Mary.
It is ironic that he never believed that he was founding the Society of Mary— a remarkable fact about a Founder whose inspiration drew hundreds and hundreds of new members to the congregation in his own time. His profound faith in his own call consistently showed itself in speech, and action as on fire with a vision that was not his own, but that of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. He always spoke of Mary as our First Superior Founder. Not surprisingly, then, an image of Mary is to be found in every Marist superior's office throughout the Marist world.
Anyone who attempts to understand Colin in his decision-making finds a puzzle that only gets clearer when Colin is seen as a man who perceived that he was an agent of a Force not his own, often carried "as a feather on the Breath of God," to use a mystical metaphor of Hildegard of Bingen. As Marists, Colin calls us to root our lives in the Church as would Mary so that we can become like her in all that we "think, feel, judge, and act." In doing this, we will then be helping to bring about a Marian Church along with Mary in all that the Church thinks, feels, judges, and acts. This is also the core principle of Colin's spirituality and pastoral vision set out in our original Constitutions.
We do not find a crystal clear focus on essential and specific ministries (all of them seemed important in his directions to us). We do not find a clear plan of action or even a particular form of devotion. As a Founder, however, he took on education, the missions of Oceania and rural France, the building up of local Churches in places around the world, home missions, and more. By 1863, our second General, Father Favre, sent Marists to the US as missionaries to be part of the massive enterprise of establishing the Church here alongside many other religious congregations— the anniversary we celebrate this year.
It is God's grace that has
always enabled us to live
our religious life in response
to the ministry needs
of the present moment.
This, and the rich experience
of the gift of our shared
common life as Marists,
is what has underpinned
our mission work
for the past 150 years,
and continues to strengthen
and guide us today.
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