Anniversary of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin’s Birth

ChavoinJeanne-Marie Chavoin, foundress of the Marist Sisters, was born on 29th August 1786 to Théodore Chavoin, aged 20, tailor, and Jeanne Verchère, aged 19, servant. Her parents may have been young and unprepared but it seems they made a good marriage and brought up their daughters in a loving, open, happy home. Jeanne-Marie grew in an atmosphere of practical faith and came to develop what could be termed “hidden holiness”. It was this quality which was later to provide the key to her vocation.

God of creation,
we praise and thank you for the birth of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin,
our foundress, Mother St Joseph.

We thank you for her parents, Théodore and Jeanne, for their love, their courage, their acceptance of responsibility and all they taught Jeanne-Marie.
We thank you for our own parents, the families which prepared us for life.

May Jeanne-Marie Chavoin intercede for us today,
that we may present a Marian face in our world –
a face of compassion, understanding and love,
a face which accepts people as they are,
yet encourages them to grow in goodness.

With them, may we be brought forth to the life of grace.
We pray this in the name of Jesus your Son. 

Feast Day of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin

Chavoin“Our Lord alone
can satisfy our hearts
which must live and yearn
for him only.” (CMJ 85.1)

Each year on 30th June Marist Sisters throughout the world celebrate the anniversary of the death of their foundress, Jeanne-Marie Chavoin.  We remember with gratitude her simple faith, her dependence on God, her love of Mary and her compassionate outreach to those in need.  Inspired by Jeanne-Marie we pray that we will always, like her, respond to God’s invitation and so give our lives to the service of the Gospel as Mary did.


Marist Leadership Teams Meet in Sydney

4 SGsThe Congregational Leadership Team and the three Regional Leadership Teams of the Marist Sisters are taking part in a Plenary General Council (PGC) meeting in Sydney from 27th March till 10th April.

The role of the PGC is to foster unity within the Congregation and to facilitate study and implementation of the General Chapter directives.

Sisters in the Sector of Australia resident in Sydney were delighted to meet the members of the PGC during an informal gathering on Sunday 24th March.   Present at this gathering was the current Congregation Leader, Sr Jane Frances O’Carroll, and three previous Congregational Leaders, Srs Margaret Purcell, Sr Gail Reneker and Sr Monica O’Brien. More photos…

You are invited to join with all Marist Sisters in praying for the work of the Plenary General Council.  Download the PGC prayer here.

Feast of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin

“A young woman believe
it is possible to transform a village
into a happier human community,
and that it is not all that difficult
to create relationships of service, friendship
and even prayer among the inhabitants.
Her ideal is the simple life of Mary
in another village, Nazareth.
(For a Marian Church by Antoine Forissier , p13)

Each year on 30th June Marist Sisters celebrate the feast of their foundress, Jeanne-Marie Chavoin.  Jeanne-Marie’s Marist journey began in the village of Cerdon in the early part of the nineteenth century.  She showed herself as a beacon of hope to those who were experiencing the harsh effects of the social and religious upheaval of the time. She and the sisters lived close to the people and were in touch with their daily problems and fears. Their style of presence and approach was welcomed and became a channel through which the Gospel message was received. From the small beginnings in Cerdon the Marist Sisters have spread throughout the word and are now found in Aotearoa-New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Gambia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, Senegal, U.S.A., Venezuela and Wales.

Inspired by Jeanne-Marie’s deep and abiding faith
and her firm trust in God
we pray that we will be women of prayer
and learn from her
to live Mary’s loving concern for
and service of those in need.

Marists Unite in Praying for Vocations

St Peter Chanel sm Martyr of Oceania

Two events occur in April which call us to pray for vocations.  The feast of St Peter Chanel falls on 28th April.  For nine days prior to his feast Marists throughout the world unite in praying for vocations to the Marist Family.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Paul VI’s instituting a day of worldwide prayer to God asking him to continue to send workers into the vineyard (cf Mt 9:38).  In 2013 World Day of Prayer for Vocations falls on Sunday 21st April.  This day also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our own vocation and renew our commitment.

Download a reflection based on the Holy Father’s Message for the 50th Anniversary World Day of Prayer and join with us in praying for vocations.

Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

On 12th September each year Marists throughout the world celebrate the feast of the Holy Name of Mary.  This feast reminds us that we “belong by a gracious choice to the family of the Blessed Mary, Mother of God.  In her name we are called Marists”(Spirit of the Society of Mary by Jean Claude Colin S.M., Founder).  The feast is also an other opportunity for Marists to reflect on how Mary would have lived the gospel in our day.

Two New Zealand Marist Sisters have prepared a reflection for this year’s feast. The reflections may be downloaded here.

Fourvière Pledge Anniversary – 23rd July

Notre Dame de Fourvière

On 23rd July 1816 twelve seminarians in Lyon climbed the steep steps to the Fourvière chapel and there pledged themselves to “as soon as possible, establish a most holy congregation of Marists.”  As we once again celebrate this foundational event in Marist history, Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Missionary Sisters, Marist Laity and Marist Brothers will  reflect on the Fourvière event and be inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of the early Marists.

If you would like to join us in prayer and reflection on the anniversary of Fourvière download a prayer reflection prepared by Sr Lorraine Canmpbell sm here.

Marists Unite in Praying for Vocations

St Peter Chanel sm Martyr of Oceania

Each year prior to the feast of St Peter Chanel Marists make a novena of prayer to pray for vocations to the Marist Family.

St Peter Chanel, a  Marist Father, was in the first group of Marist missionaries to Oceania.  Peter arrived in futuna in November 1937.  During his lifetime Peter saw little success in his work.  During his first six month on Futuna he baptised only one Futunian – a dying child.


Early in the morning of April 28, 1841, Fr. Peter was wakened from sleep and clubbed to death, his skull split by the axe of a Futunian warrior. He was thirty-eight years old.  He was the first martyr of Oceania and the first Marist to be canonised.

We invite you to join with us in prayer over these novena days.
Download the novena prayer here.