Faith Formation

Intentional Community

Since our foundation in 1801, members of our association have gathered together in what we now call Marianist Lay Communities (MLCs). These communities are an essential means for Lay Marianists to continue in their lifelong journey of faith. Members of an MLC pray with one another and support one another through life's ups and downs. MLCs are places of discernment where Marianists make sense of the "signs of the times" in light of our shared faith and consider how to respond as Mary would. Our communities are not an end in themselves. They prepare and sustain us for a lifetime of service and mission to building community in all sectors of the Church and world. Multiplying MLCs is therefore a primary means of advancing faith formation throughout our Church.


As the lay branch of the Marianist Family, the Marianist Lay Communities pay special attention to family life. Our association has members at every stage of life: some are focused on dating, getting married, and being a good life partner; others on raising young children or teenagers; and others still on the joys of their own children becoming parents.  As a spiritual community of communities, the Marianist Family is an excellent way to form families in a deep faith that endures from one generation to the next.


Marianist Lay Communities prioritize creating annual retreat opportunities, whether gathered as local groups or regional/national events. These extended experiences apart provide fertile ground for spiritual renewal, bonding, and being re-centered in our Marianist identity and mission. With immersive prayer, teachings, and fellowship, retreats revitalize us for living out the Marianist charism with greater vibrancy.

National Assemblies

Every three years, Marianist Lay Communities from across the country gather for a National Assembly. These multi-day events are powerful opportunities for our "community of communities" to reconnect, share learnings, pray together, and renew our common identity and mission. With joyful reunions and inspiring speakers, the assemblies send us back to our local MLCs refreshed and motivated to live out the Marianist charism more vibrantly.

Advancing Social Justice

A distinctive aspect of Marianist spirituality is its inherent commitment to justice, human dignity, and solidarity with the poor. Our MLCs are not insular - we examine root causes of injustice and empower members to take action. Many MLCs adopt local justice initiatives, and regional/national programs further this formative work. We strengthen each other to be countercultural witnesses and advocates for Gospel justice.