The Marists are inviting you to a deeper connection with the Society of Mary
From the beginning, the Marist project envisaged a branch open to lay men and women. In 1850 this branch took on a particular form was recognized by the Holy See as the “Third Order of Mary.” In Father Jean Claude Colin’s mind, the Founder of the Marists, this was to be a broadly based association available to all people, whatever their situation, age or condition. It could assume many forms, and where appropriate, might even be given another name.
The Marist project is open to still others by ways of association. Each province, in agreement with the Superior General and his council, decides the forms which this might take, with the understanding that such association does not constitute formal membership in the Society of Mary.
Constitutions of the Society of Mary, published in 1987, paragraphs 31 and 32