“ The spirit of Mary is something most delicate and profound, obtained only through sustained meditation and prayer. ” - Jean Claude Colin, Founder Marist Order
The Society of Mary (Marist Fathers) was approved by Rome in 1836, and immediately the Marist Fathers went on the missions to the islands of the South Pacific. Since 1836 the Society of Mary has spread to many other parts of the world and organised itself in the form of ‘provinces’.
Amongst them being: 1853 the provinces of Lyon and Paris;1889 the Anglo-Irish province, New Zealand and America; 1890 Oceania (Wallis, Futuna, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, South Solomons, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea), 1923 Germany, 1924 the American province divided into Washington and Boston, 1938 Australia and Italy, 1947 the Netherlands, 1952 The Anglo-Irish province divided into Ireland and England, 1959 Spain, 1961 Mexico, 1962 San Francisco, 1965 Canada, 1976 a unified French province.
The French also brought the Society to Africa, the Dutch to Norway, and the Western Americans to Hawaii, Australians went to Japan, Spaniards to Peru and Italians to Venezuela. In 1981 the mission districts of Philippines and Brazil were founded.
This was followed by the district of Peru/Venezuela in 1989 and the district of Africa in 1990. The most recent development has seen a team of Marists from the Philippines working with Burmese refugees in Thailand.