Meet Our Marianist Founders and Discover Our Deep Roots

The Society of Mary was established by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850), a priest in the diocese of Bordeaux, France, and co-founder of the Sodality of the Madeleine and the Society of Mary (1817). 

Working closely with Father Chaminade in founding the Marianist Family were:

  • Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous (1754-1836), close friend of William Joseph Chaminade and co-foundress of the Sodality of the Madeleine and the Society of Mary.
  • Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon (1789-1828), foundress of the Marianist Sisters and foundress of the Association.

When the church of France lay dismembered and dispirited in the ashes of the French Revolution, these three founders of the Society of Mary, largely unaware of each other's work at the beginning but then joining forces, formed communities called sodalities. 

These communities included both sexes, married and single people, religious, diocesan clergy and all classes of people.  These were the faith communities that would rebuild the Catholic church in France.

Eventually some sodality members formed the nucleus of two religious congregations: for women, the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (founded by Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon in collaboration with Father Chaminade in 1816) and for men, the Society of Mary (founded in 1817). 

As Mary had formed Jesus, she would now form new apostles to live the Gospel in a new age. 

The Society of Mary was established in the United States in 1849 in Dayton.  The Marianist Sisters were established in the United States in 1949 in Somerset, Texas. 

Here is a brief video that gives an overview of the Founders of the Marianist Family:

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