Our Founders

William Joseph Chaminade

Born: April 8, 1761     Died: January 22, 1850
Feast Day: January 22
“I am like a brook that makes no effort to overcome obstacles in its way. All the obstacles can do is hold me up for a while, as a brook is held up; but during that time it grows broader and deeper and after a while it overflows the obstruction and flows along again. That is how I am going to work.”

Fr. William Joseph Chaminade was born in Périgueux, France and became a Catholic priest in 1785.  During the French Revolution (1789-1799), the French government sought to drive out the Catholic faith, and Chaminade was forced to disguise himself.  In 1797, the situation became worse and Chaminade was forced into exile in Saragossa, Spain.  After his return to France, Chaminade joined forces with Marie Thérèse and started a sodality in Bordeaux that grew into what we now call the Marianist Lay Communities.  Chaminade was a key figure in working with Adèle to form the Marianist Sisters and in forming the Society of Mary (Marianist Brothers and Priests).

Adèle de Batz Trenquelléon

Born: June 10, 1789 - January 10, 1828
Feast Day: January 10
“O my God, my heart is too small to love you, but it will see to it that you are loved by so many hearts that their love will compensate for the weakness of mine”

Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon was born in 1789 in southern France during the French revolution.  As a teenager, she began an association of friends based on their faith and devotion to God.  Adèle was an excellent communicator, and wrote many letters to her friends in order to inspire them and help form them in faith.  In her twenties, Adèle met Fr. Chaminade and Marie Thérèse and, with their help, founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary, known today as the Marianist Sisters.

Marie Thérèse de Lamourous

Born: November 1, 1754     Died: September 14, 1836
Feast Day: September 14
“I will stay here”

Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous was a brave and intelligent woman who had served in the underground Church during the revolution.  She worked closely with Fr. Chaminade to help him form his communities in Bordeaux and provided guidance to Adèle in journey to form the Marianist Sisters.  But Marie Thérèse had her own project as well!  In 1801, she was inspired to take charge of the Miséricorde - a house of repentant prostitutes who came freely to restore their lives.  Marie Thérèse was an excellent problem solver who helped the Marianist mission prosper despite seemingly overwhelming obstacles.