“ The spirit of Mary is something most delicate and profound, obtained only through sustained meditation and prayer. ” - Jean Claude Colin, Founder Marist Order
A Marist? And what do you do? is the first thing people ask…or perhaps they just say: “Oh Yes, you are a teaching order, of course.” Embarrassing, because really we would not want to define ourselves by any one apostolate. In fact, being a Marist has as much to do with an outlook and a way of doing things as with pastoral activity. Marists are more similar to a movement in the church, rather than a single religious order.
As Marists we take Mary the mother of Jesus as our model. To be a Marist is to be called and chosen, through a love freely bestowed on us, to live the Gospel as Mary did, in a Society, which bears her name.
It was Mary who brought into the world God’s own son. She was the first to welcome the good news of the Father’s love, and to discern the Son’s mission as servant among his people, sharing his poverty and his total gift of self to the Father.
It is from Mary that we learn to serve the Church in a special way.
“Since their vocation is to be in today’s world a special presence of Mary, doing God’s work in her way, Marists bear in mind this woman who by a gracious choice called them and gave them her name”. (Marist Fathers’ Constitutions, 144).
There are four Marist religious congregations with about ten thousand members between them, as well as lay people who dedicate themselves as Marists. These five branches constitute the Marist Family.
In Ireland today, Marists are involved in a wide range of ministries.
Marists minister in three schools, Chanel College Coolock and CUS Leeson Street, both in Dublin and St Mary’s College in Dundalk Co. Louth. The current policy of the Marist Fathers in relation to these schools is outlined in the MEA – MARIST EDUCATION AUTHORITY: Roles Responsibilities and Authority. Marist involvement in these schools continues at the level of Trustee, members of Board of Management, principals, Chaplains and teachers.
Marist Fathers have responsibility for three parishes, St Teresa’s Parish Donore Ave and St Brendan’s Parish Coolock in Dublin, and Holy Family Parish in Dundalk, Co Louth. . Individual Marists are also curates in various parishes in the Diocese of Dublin and Armagh. We also provide church services in CUS Leeson St. and St Mary’s Dundalk.
Marist involvement in Third Level education is through a number of Marists working in All Hallows College, Milltown Institute, and Marino Institute of Education.
Individual Marists work in the areas of Spiritual Direction, Counselling, Social Ministry, Family Therapy and other Therapies. One Marist is chaplain in the Irish Army.
Traditionally nearly a third of Irish Marists have worked abroad in other mission areas, mostly Oceania. Now as well as Oceania, Irish Marists have also made themselves available for missionary work in countries like: Peru/Venezuela, Cameroon/Senegal, Philippians, Brazil, and the International Team in Notre Dame de France in London.
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