History of the Marianists

The Society of Mary (Marianists) was founded by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, a priest in the Diocese of Bordeaux during the French Revolution when Christianity was threatened and the infrastructure of the Catholic Church was left in ruins. After the Church was restored in southern France, Blessed Chaminade organized groups of young men and women from all sectors of society into communities of mutual support and Christian outreach. It was from these communities that the Society of Mary was established in 1817. The Society is “a discipleship of equals” with roles but no ranks. Accordingly, equality exists between ordained Priests and non-ordained Brothers as they work together to serve God.

About Marianists

The Marianists (Society of Mary) are a Roman Catholic religious order of men have been bearers of the Catholic and Marianist traditions in their educational efforts since they first arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1883.  Marianists embrace the idea of education as a mechanism to transform society and support a spirit of openness, mutual respect and acceptance. They live in a community of equals, brothers and priests, modeling the Spirit of Mary, the mother of Jesus and witness to Christ’s transforming presence on campus. There are over 20 Marianists brothers and priests who live in three separate community houses on the campus. Some of the brothers serve the University as administrators, professors, campus ministers, and more. Additionally, some of the brothers serve St. Louis School, a school for young men grades 5-12 also on our campus. Some of our brothers are in active retirement and can still be seen helping out in various ministries on campus.

Marianists at Kalaepohaku

The Marianists came to Hawaii in 1883 to staff and administer Saint Louis School, founded by the Sacred Heart Fathers. The school moved to its present site on Kalaepohaku in 1928. In 1955, the Marianists founded Saint Louis Junior College, later renamed Chaminade College. With the inauguration of graduate programs in 1977, the college became Chaminade University of Honolulu. Today, Chaminade offers numerous degrees through the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences, School of Humanities, Arts & Design, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, School of Business and Communication and School of Nursing & Health Professions.

Bro. Tom Wendorf, S.M. (former national vocation director) shares who the Marianists are and our charism (gift) to the Church and the world.

What is a Brother?

Meet Marianist Brothers Allen Pacquing, S.M., Michael Chiuri, S.M., and Bob Jones, S.M. as they share with you their experience of life as a Religious Brother.