According to our Founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, faith was to be taught, nurtured, and sustained. But that was only half his plan. If the Marianist communities were to be the birthing places for the new life of Christ in the Church and the world, their members must form other communities with the same zeal, energy, and new language that characterized the community of Jerusalem in Acts of the Apostles. To use an expression from a later age, the community gathered in order to be sent.
This grand project would only work, Chaminade understood, if his followers were holy. Then, people would be drawn to Marianist community as they witnessed the “spectacle of a people of saints.” Father Chaminade understood holiness to be the continual and gradual transformation from the old person who sins into the new person who embodies the virtues and very life of Christ. This effort to be holy is the touchstone of Marianist spirituality and prayer. Chaminade felt that the community's support, prayer, and nurturing of faith would be especially effective and sustaining in this spiritual transformation.
Because our communities are dedicated to Mary, the spirituality of Marianist communities is most fundamentally about Mary forming us to be Christ for our world today.