The Society of Mary (Marianists) was founded by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, a priest in the Diocese of Bordeaux during the French Revolution when Christianity was threatened and the infrastructure of the Catholic Church was left in ruins. After the Church was restored in southern France, Blessed Chaminade organized groups of young men and women from all sectors of society into communities of mutual support and Christian outreach.
It was from these communities that the Society of Mary was established in 1817. The Society is “a discipleship of equals” with roles but no ranks. Accordingly, equality exists between ordained Priests and non-ordained Brothers as they work together to serve God.
Vows of Marianists
Vow of Chastity
The Vow of Chastity calls the Marianists to single-heartedly pursue their relationship with God by foregoing married and single Christian lifestyles. Instead, they choose a life of celibacy in community, which impels them to deepen their life of prayer and focus their intimate human relationships with freedom and non-exclusivity.
Vow of Poverty
The Vow of Poverty calls the Marianists to live simply. Asserting their trust in the providence of God, they choose to be free from the accumulation of material goods. They thereby hope to witness their own dependence on God and the primacy of God’s reign.
Vow of Obedience
The Vow of Obedience calls the Marianists to enter into community, seeking together to fulfill the will of God as manifested within the congregation’s mission. Such discernment is performed in an atmosphere of dialogue, understanding and shared responsibility.
Vow of Stability
The Vow of Stability calls the Marianists to understand and live in the spirit of Mary, the Mother of God, in a lifelong commitment to her mission in the Church. At the time of their Perpetual Commitment, Marianists receive a symbolic gold ring.
Marianists at Kalaepohaku
The Marianists came to Hawaii in 1883 to staff and administer Saint Louis School, founded by the Sacred Heart Fathers. The school moved to its present site on Kalaepohaku in 1928. In 1955, the Marianists founded Saint Louis Junior College, later renamed Chaminade College.
With the inauguration of graduate programs in 1977, the college became Chaminade University of Honolulu. Today, Chaminade offers numerous degrees through the Division of Behavioral Sciences, Division of Education, Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, School of Business and Communication and School of Nursing.