5 The Society of Mary begins

Sharing the Marist dream with his local bishop Colin met with opposition and ridicule. 'If you want to be missionaries,' said the bishop, 'then start here in the villages of Bugey.'

So Fr Colin did just that. On Oct 29, 1824 the Colin brothers were joined by another of the Fourvière twelve, Etienne Declas. They would form teams to renew the Revolution-torn parishes in the mountains of the diocese. Pierre Colin wrote immediately to the bishop: 'Today the little Society of Mary begins!'.

The Marist group was soon asked to take over the bishop's secondary school at Belley - and the Marist Fathers entered the world of education. Fr Colin soon provided his fellow teachers with firm, gentle guidelines which were to inspire later generations of Marist educators.

Click to enlarge image 07-01-0512-belley-college-2.jpg

Belley - minor seminary, street facade of school, now the 'College Lamartine'

Go to next gallery: The Bugey missions