Marianist Vocations

Who are the Marianists?

The Marianists are a worldwide family of Catholic brothers, priests, sisters and committed lay people. The Society of Mary is the male religious order of brothers and priests.

What distinguishes the Marianists from other Catholic religious orders?

Image of Father ChaminadeThe Marianists are distinguished by their particular charism—the particular gift or collection of gifts given by God to a congregation for the benefit of the Christian community. As men dedicated to Mary as a model of faith, members of the Society of Mary seek to witness to the Gospel by living in and building communities of faith wherever they are. A unique feature of the Marianist charism is its embodiment of a discipleship of equals: brothers and priests share equal status within the congregation, and more broadly, they play their part in the wider Marianist Family, which includes sisters and lay men and women who share in the same charism and work collaboratively. Like Mary, Marianist brothers strive to bring Christ to the world and work for the coming of His kingdom.

What is a brother?

A brother is a man who has professed vows in a religious congregation. A brother is committed to living the religious life in response to God and may be engaged in a variety of ministries that express the charism of his religious congregation; he models in his commitment the person of Jesus through service to others.

What is the difference between a Marianist brother and priest?

All Marianist priests are brothers. They became brothers first and remain Marianist brothers, sharing the same vows in common. Marianist priests, with the affirmation of their Province members, have done seminary studies and become ordained ministers. They’ve undergone their priestly formation in a Marianist context, currently at our Marianist seminary in Rome. Marianist priests, like all priests in the Catholic Church, are ministers of the sacraments and bring these distinct gifts to their brothers, to the Marianist Family, and to the Church.

Can Marianist brothers get married?

No. Marianist brothers take vows of poverty, celibate chastity, obedience, and, at final profession, stability. The vow of celibate chastity means foregoing the married life or any exclusive relationship of love with another person. Brothers, by nature of this vow, are called to a kind of loving that is impartial, inclusive, and freeing for the other—in a radical way, they are called to love like Jesus in his earthly ministry.

What is the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest from a religious congregation?

A diocesan priest serves in a particular diocese and makes a promise of obedience to the diocesan bishop. He lives a celibate life but does not take a vow of poverty. Priests and brothers in religious congregations profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Marianists also profess the vow of stability, which reflects their lifelong dedication to Mary. Religious priests serve the particular needs of their religious congregation; their service of the wider Church is mediated through obedience to their religious superiors.

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Brother Mike O’Grady, S.M.
Marianist Residence