Who We Are
The presence of the Marist Fathers and Brothers in the United States began in 1863 when Frs. Henri Bellanger, SM and Joseph Gautherin, SM arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana with other Catholic missionaries coming to serve the growing Catholic immigrant population during the Civil War. The Marists were part of an immigrant Church struggling to survive and prosper in a sometimes anti-Catholic land.
They established the first Marist American foundation in Convent, Louisiana where they served the needs of the French speaking minorities along the Mississippi River.
The Marists expanded their mission work west beginning in California in 1880 when they accepted an invitation from the Archbishop of San Francisco to staff a new seminary. Over time their mission work extended into Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and Hawaii.
Beginning in 1897 Marists began working in Georgia serving the Diocese of Savannah in both pastoral work and education. In 1901 Marist College, a secondary school for boys, Marist College, was created in Atlanta, Georgia.
Due to the growth of the Marist presence, the province split into the provinces of Boston and Washington, DC in 1924, and the province of San Francisco in 1962. All provinces were unified into one Marist Province of the US in 2009.