About the Marianists

Photo of a stained glass window in Assumption Chapel, on the campus of St. Mary's UniversityThe Society of Mary (SM) and the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (FMI) are the professed branches of the Marianist Family. The Lay Marianists are another part of the Marianist Family…The term Marianist has come to describe all those who have a formal connection to a Marianist group and whose lives are influenced by the charism of William Joseph Chaminade. The Marianists founded St. Mary’s University in 1852 in hopes that it would help educate the new immigrant population of the area.

Today, Marianist religious still live and work at St. Mary’s University and strive to bring the charism of Father Chaminade to a new generation. Marianist laity and religious are found in Texas and throughout the world. Blessed Chaminade believed that like Jesus’ mother, Mary, all Christians, not just clergy and religious, are called by God to holiness and to the common mission of bringing Christ to the world. Pope John Paul II beatified Blessed Chaminade on September 3, 2000.

Fr. William Joseph Chaminade

Father Chaminade was a French priest who lived through the terrors of the French revolution and the disintegration of both social and religious structures of France. He envisioned the building up of the Church through faith communities. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850), in collaboration with Venerable Adele de Tranquelleon, founded the Marianist family, which today includes four branches: the priests and brothers of the Society of Mary (SM), the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (FMI), the Alliance Mariale (AM), and Marianist Lay Communities (MLC).