In September of 1833, eight Marianists came together and took control of what we all know as St. Louis School. In 1955, with the help of St. Louis alumni, the Marianists established a Catholic school in Honolulu called St. Louis Junior College. Two years later, Chaminade College was born and would again change its name to Chaminade University of Honolulu in 1977.
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, Marianists friends and families, along with students and faculty gathered at the Mystical Rose Oratory to celebrate the birthday of the Marianists community.
The Marianists, priests and MEAs have all contributed to this institution that many students call home. They are involved in other institutions and in many different works around the world. With a decline in religious brothers and priests, these devotees of Chaminade University help to keep the tradition alive.
“Every year we celebrate the founding of the Society of Mary, which is the Marianists Order. It was founded 192 years ago in France by Father Chaminade,” said Dr. David Anderson, a professor and Marianist Educational Associate (MEA) at Chaminade. “Ever since then we’ve been celebrating the launch of this wonderful community and the wonderful work that they do in the name of the gospel.”
The ceremony started with an opening prayer and a song led by musician and fellow student, Soane Uiagalelei. The ceremony continued with readings from the scripture along with more melodies.
After a heartfelt statement by Brother Jerry Bommer, all of the Marianists were called to stand in front of the small crowd that came to celebrate.
Kapono Ryan, Director of Communications, was sworn in as an MEA and the remaining cohorts made a recommitment to serve. The ceremony ended with the Lord’s Prayer and a closing blessing. Afterwards, students and faculty were invited for cake and ice cream held outside the Mystical Rose.
“For a number of years now, the [Marianists] have begun to invite plain men and woman who are a part of the family here to become engaged in the mission of the Marianist,” says Anderson. “[They] want to make sure that this wonderful mission continues.”