Become a Lay Marianist

Interested in becoming a Lay Marianist?

The Marianist charism is the distinctive way in which members of the Marianist Family live in service to the Church and world.  Our charism is mission oriented: we join in alliance with Mary, Mother of Jesus, to bring Christ to the world by building inclusive, lifegiving communities everywhere we go. Lay Marianists live out the gift and task of this calling in their personal, family, and professional lives. Lay Marianists are supported in their commitment to our mission through membership in small faith communities called Marianist Lay Communities (MLCs) and by growing in our Marianist Spirituality. Becoming a Lay Marianist is a journey of four stages: Experiencing the Charism, Discerning the Call, Lay Marianist Formation, and Making a Commitment.

Continue reading or contact us to learn more.

1. Experiencing the Charism

Being Marianist is a relational, mission-oriented, and spiritual way of life.  The first step to joining our family is to experience this way of life.  There are many great ways to experience the Marianist charism including:

  • Participating in an in-person or virtual Marianist Lay Community
  • Studying or working at a Marianist school or university
  • Going on retreats at a Marianist retreat center
  • Parish life in a Marianist parish
  • Joining one of the issue teams of the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative
  • Serving at a local ministry such as the Mission of Mary Cooperative
  • Joining in virtual gatherings such as Marianist Spirit or Gathering in the Spirit
  • Taking a course or workshop through the North American Center for Marianist Studies
  • So many more!

Not sure where to start? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you get connected.

2. Discerning the Call

If you’ve had a positive experience with the Marianist Family, you may wish to discern your vocational calling as a Lay Marianist.  Discernment is a deeply personal decision, but it is best made in a context of prayer and discussion with others.  

 Our team of vocation and accompaniment guides are ready to support you in this important stage of discernment.  Whether you’re just getting started or have already spent substantive time in discernment, get in touch with our team to learn more about the right next steps for you.

3. Lay Marianist Formation

Becoming a Lay Marianist is a journey of entering into alliance with Mary as a member of the international Catholic association of the faithful known as the Marianist Lay Communities.  Joining our association is an excellent way to cultivate a rich life of spirituality and service.  After experiencing our charism and discerning a call to become a Lay Marianist, the next step is a process of formation. Unlike other formative opportunities in the Catholic and Marianist tradition, Lay Marianist formation is specifically intended to help one be a full, active member of our branch of the Marianist Family. Additionally, this initial period of formation prepares individuals for the ongoing journey of formation that continues through their MLC, mission and ministry, and other means after becoming a Lay Marianist.

There are three types of Lay Marianist formation available.  One option is to join MLC-NA’s virtual formation program.  This program is a good option for anyone, regardless of whether or not they already have an MLC that they are a part of or wish to join.  As part of MLC-NA’s virtual formation program, individuals without an MLC will work with our team to meet and join an MLC. A second option is for individuals who are becoming a Lay Marianist in the context of an existing or newly forming MLC with an approved formation program and leader.  These options are typically local to a specific area and happen in person. Finally, some Lay Marianists are formed through Marianist Affiliation, which is a unique expression of commitment within the Marianist Family and the Church for a lay person to spirituality align one’s life with the vowed religious of the Marianist Family.

Contact out team to learn more.

4. Commitment

The final stage of becoming a Lay Marianist is a public commitment of the whole person to enter into alliance with Mary and her mission.  This commitment, also known as a consecration, is a means of dedicating one’s whole self – personal, professional, and familial – to Mary’s mission of bringing Christ to the world, sharing in Marianist community, and cultivating a spiritual life in the Marianist tradition.

Lay Marianist Commitments may be temporary or permanent in nature.  Temporary commitments are typically made and renewed annually through one’s MLC or at another ceremony.  Permanent commitments are made in conjunction with a vow of stability or through Marianist Affiliation.

Get Started on Your Journey

Welcome! Whether you've known the Marianists for a long time or are just meeting us for the first time, our team will be happy to hear your story and find the best next steps for you!
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