October 2, is the Feast of the Guardian Angels and the 198th anniversary of the Marianist order, the Society of Mary. Founded in 1817 by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, The Society of Mary, composed of brothers and priests, built lay Christian communities dedicated to furthering Mary’s apostolic mission.
Although the society was not founded for any specific work, it became apparent early on that their focus would be on education. Chaminade advocated for schools of every kind and at every level, to be made available to the common people. He directed Marianist religious into schools to encourage Christian communities of learning.
Today, the Society of Mary serves in 30 countries on five continents. They minister over 100 schools around the world. In the United States, Marianists sponsor the University of Dayton in Ohio, St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 18 secondary schools, six parishes and four retreat centers.
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was beatified by Pope John Paul II September 3, 2000, his feast day is celebrated on January 22.
For more information about the Marianists, please visit www.marianist.com.