What is a Lay Marianist?

Embracing the Marianist charism

Among those called to the Marianist Family are single or married lay people who embrace the Marianist charism as the way of living out their baptismal call. They might be doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, social workers, government workers, accountants, church ministers, laborers, retirees, and more.

A Lay Marianist is a lay person who KNOWS, COMMITS TO, and LIVES the Marianist Charism.

To KNOW means that the Lay Marianist has gone through formation. This formation includes information about the founders, pillars of the Marianist charism, and Marianist spirituality. This process can cover a period of time from six months to several years. In fact, formation is on-going. Formation may include formal classes, retreats, talks by experienced Marianists (SM, FMI, AM, or Lay), reading resource material, dialog with a spiritual companion, and active involvement in a local or virtual Marianist Lay Community.

To COMMIT means that after initial formation, the individual makes a commitment to accept the Marianist charism to guide his/her life. To be a Lay Marianist is not a private commitment but a communal one. Some commitments are renewed annually. Some Lay Marianists make a permanent vow of stability.

To LIVE as a Lay Marianist means that commitment is not a one-time event but rather an ongoing lifestyle in which one continues to grow in understanding his/her vocation through participation in community life and service to the Church and world.

Lay Marianists in the United States, Canada, and Haiti belong to the Marianist Lay Community of North America. Their Marianist commitment is primarily lived through participation in local Marianist Lay Communities (MLCs) in a specific geographic area. Others are scattered across the country, and participate in virtual communities that often get together for face to face retreats, etc.

For more information, please check out these resources:

MLC-NA Brochure

International Statement on Lay Marianist Identity

Guide to Life in the Marianist Lay Community of North America