First Community in Mexico (1981)
In 1981 filled with gratitude, the Mexican people celebrated 450 years since the apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
The importance of this anniversary in the history of the Mexican people was marked by the opening of a beautiful new basilica dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, built on the site of the apparitions at Tepeyac, on the outskirts of Mexico City.
It was no coincidence that the five Marist pioneers arrived on the 3rd October of the same
year (1981). We had come from five provinces on three continents: Sisters Myra Niland
(Ireland), Andrena Mulligan (England), Denise Jegonday (France), Marlene Giblin (Fiji). and
Rita-Marie Riddell (USA).
On arriving at the airport, we met Father Jacques Chavellier SM, parish priest of the parish
where we were to live, and two seminarians. Although it was almost midnight, the priest very
kindly made a short detour around the illuminated basilica and the Tepeyac hill. This
significant and emotional moment will remain forever in the group’s memory, all the more so
because we knew at that moment that our home was only a fifteen minutes bus ride from the
The joy and enthusiasm recounted by Jeanne-Marie Chavoin and the first sisters, in the
simplicity of the first house in Cerdon in 1823, was repeated in the house of the Marist pioneers in Ticoman, Mexico in 1981. Like them, we also lived in solidarity with the people who shared their stories with us, their many sufferings, but also their hopes for a better future for their children. Their living faith in the maternal protection of the Virgin of Guadalupe and their ability to celebrate the simple joys of life despite their hardships helped us understand how Marist spirituality fits so easily into this culture.
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Our Current Ministries
- Director of the Marist Children’s and Youth Centre, (a FMS School)
- Marist Laity
- Co-ordinator of Community Canteen for People at Risk of Homelessness
- Pastoral Care of Youth