Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Marianist Founder's Schools

Eventually, lay Christian communities expressed the desire to follow Christ as vowed religious. In 1816, Blessed Chaminade, in collaboration with Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon, founded the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (Marianist Sisters). In 1817, he founded the Society of Mary (Marianists.) He saw in these two religious orders the means to maintain, inspire, and extend the network of communities and works founded through his inspiration. Blessed Chaminade continued the work of developing lay Christian communities. Simultaneously, he directed the Marianist religious into schools that they might become Christian communities of learning. During his lifetime, he founded over forty schools, including three teacher-training institutions. Chaminade perceived these schools as having the mission of enculturation of an essentially religious worldview.

The essential purpose of his schools was to form persons in religious faith. The teacher worked toward the moral development of the student when teaching. In contrast to the “teaching practitioner” of his time, Chaminade desired educators in the Marianist tradition to give a “Christian lesson by every word, by every gesture, by every look.” He counseled teachers to form the heart and not reject as bad what is not absolutely good in a student. It sufficed for every person to be as God wills him or her to be.

The feastday of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade is Friday, January 22.

Pray for vocations!