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Jean-Claude Colin founded the Society of Mary, a Catholic Religious congregation, in Lyon, France.
Members of the Society of Mary are often known as Marists. They model their lives on the person of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Mary's life was marked by spontaneity and joy, and lived out, actively involved in the broader community. In this light, a particular focus of Marist work is to rejuvenate existing Church communities and establish the Church where it does not exist.
The first Marists left France in 1836 and arrived in New Zealand at the Hokianga Harbour in January 1838. They were also present at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
For more information please visit the website for the Society of Mary in New Zealand.