Marist Fathers (Society of Mary)

The Society of Mary, or Marist Fathers, is a religious congregation of priests that was established in France in 1824. Its founder, Father Jean-Claude Colin, was elected as its first superior general in 1836.The Marist Brothers, Marist Sisters and Marist Missionary Sisters are separate congregations within the ‘Marist Family’, together with an associated Marist laity.203 From 1846 the order became involved as missionaries in Oceania. The Marist Fathers first settled in Australia in 1845, when they chose Sydney as the site for a ‘Central House’ for the Oceania missions.

Marist Fathers work in parishes and as administrators, teachers, counsellors and chaplains in schools in a number of countries, as well as being involved in adult education in universities, colleges and seminaries. They have also become involved in working with young people with special needs, including asylum seekers, homeless children, and children with disability.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has provided figures showing between 1950 to 2010, the Marist Fathers have had 25 priests known to be perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Some of these perpetrators include Father William Kevin Glover who was ordained in 1940 and was a member of the Marist Fathers until 1959. In 1958, Father Glover admitted to the systematic sexual abuse of adolescent boys but was only given a canonical warning by his superiors. However, quite recently many more Marist Fathers have been charged and been sentenced over such offences. This includes Father Brian Conaghan (died in 2018) who allegedly abused 5 schoolgirls between 1968 to 1971 at Stella Maris College, Burnie (now known as Marist Regional College). Another perpetrator, Father Thomas Fulcher (aged 84), was sentenced in 2018 to four years’ jail for indecently assaulting two boys at the same school. That made him the sixth teacher at the College convicted of historic child sex offences.

Artemis Legal has represented and is still representing clients who were victims of child sexual abuse by the Marist Fathers and at institutions run by the Fathers, such as Stella Maris/Marist Regional College.

We invite former victims to contact us to tell us confidentially what information they may have, and we will explain what options are available to help with these cases.

Call us or complete the confidential enquiry form below.