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Marist Life           Steps to the Marist Fathers         Novitiate          Vocation prayer

Marist Family
Originally the Marist dream was to have a family of laity, religious and priests, men and women, who would do 'Mary's work.' The dream evolved to become four separate branches, indeed five, as the world of Marist Laity developed.

'Marist Family' describes these groups that have sprung from the common inspiration of the Marist aspirants at Fourviere in 1816. (See also 'Vision & Promise')

Marist Religious
The religious congregations of the Marist Family are:

  • The Marist Fathers (SM)
    (priests and brothers of the society of Mary)
  • The Marist Sisters (SM)
  • The Marist Brothers (FMS)
  • The Marist Missionary Sisters (SMSM)

Marist Laity
The Marist Laity are an equal and integral group within the Marist Family who all share a common spirituality and draw inspiration from Mary's way of being in the early Church.

Vocation Promoter
The current Vocation Promoter for the Society of Mary, Australian Province, is Fr Paul Mahony SM au       0413 101 662

For the Life of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin: click here.

For more about Fourvière: click here

Steps to a vocation with the Marist Fathers

Learning about Marist life
The best way to learn about Marist life is to ask a Marist. Any Marist would be happy to provide information about the Society of Mary. Those who are interested in knowing more can also contact the Vocations Promoter.

The journey in discerning God's call to the Society of Mary is an important one. After a period of enquiry a person formally enters 'accompaniment'. This time can last up to twelve months or longer. The interested person meets regularly with a Marist and shares with that person their faith journey.

The accompaniment period is a supportive and positive experience. Meanwhile, the person while discerning his interest and willingness to become a Marist, has the opportunity to visit some of the Marist communities and to learn more about the Society of Mary.

Application for initial formation
After the accompaniment period if the person wishes to pursue seriously the idea of becoming a Marist he makes application to the Marist Fathers Provincial to enter the initial formation program. Currently this program takes place in Auckland, New Zealand.

To be a considered for acceptance into the Marist formation program a candidate must usually be under 35 years of age.

The first period of the initial formation program takes one or two years; after that the candidate applies to enter novitiate.

This is a period of time given over to deep and personal reflection and spirituality. It usually takes twelve months and the candidate joins with Marists from all over the world. The international English-speaking novitiate is located in Davao, Philippines.

Religious profession
At the conclusion of novitiate the person becomes a Marist by professing the three temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Seminary studies
Candidates who wish to pursue a course leading to priestly ordination continue their formation program in 'Casa Di Maria', the Marist International Theologate in Rome, Italy.

(See blessing of 'Casa Di Maria', Oct 14, 2012)

Final profession
After a minimum period of three years, the temporarily professed Marist makes final profession as a Marist.

Candidates for the priesthood are called to ordination on the completion of their seminary studies and usually at the end of a year of pastoral experience in a pastoral or mission setting..


International Marist Novitiate

Candidates from several countries come together for a year of spiritual preparation for their commitment to Marist. Davao City, Philippines, was the location for the Society of Mary's recent international novitiate. One of the first batches of novices is pictured above showing the internationality of Marist formation, left to right: Roque Rebito (Filipino), John Guo Wang (Chinese), Philip Bennenbroek ( New Zealand), Thilo Saft (German), Daniel Fernandez Alearaz (Spanish) and Nino Memorial (Filipino). A two-month cultural orientation program precedes the novitiate experience.

In 2013 New Zealand Marist, Fr Kevin Conroy, led the novitiate formation team supported by Fr Fernando Ingente (Philippines Mission District) and Br John Votaia (Oceania Province).
Vocation Prayer


Lord, let me know clearly the work which You are calling me to do in life and grant me every grace I need to answer your call with courage and love and lasting dedication to Your will. Amen