Beginning in 1812, I had introduced to this seminary… the zealous association which I had known in the seminary in Paris.
Diary of 20 August 1838, E.O. XIX
On December 7, 1810 Eugene was admitted to its ranks in Paris. It was at a time of turmoil in the seminary with the harassment of the Sulpician formators by the Napoleonic government, and their eventual expulsion. The role of the Association was more necessary than ever in order to maintain a spirit of piety and fervor in the seminary. At the meeting of 21 October 1811 this concern was expressed in the decision “that the members would redouble their zeal and fervor to such an extent that their example of regularity would be powerful enough to maintain the spirit of piety and the most exact fidelity in observance of the rules, standing proof against all the breaches in discipline, ill-will or lukewarmness might open up.”
At the same meeting Eugene was entrusted with the task of reading through all the minutes of the previous meetings of the Association so as to draw up a list of decisions that had been made. Once he had done this a supplement to the rule was drawn up. Eugene was then elected Permanent Secretary of the Association – a group that continued to play an important role in the seminary once the Sulpicians had been removed and during the year that he and other newly ordained priests were the directors of the seminary.
Pielorz writes: “Once the decision was taken to revive the original thrust of the association, Eugene drew up a supplement to the general Rule. This supplement was nothing other than a synthesizing all the decisions taken by the Association from the time of its foundation until 1811 and an adapting of them to the requirements of the new circumstances. Our attention was drawn to the exercise of the coulpe, taken from the Rules of Saint Philip Neri, the obligatory monthly retreat, special prayers for the departed associates and the annual renewal of the consecration to the Sacred Heart, because these practices show a close resemblance to the very ones Abbé de Mazenod would prescribe in the Constitutions and Rules of the Missionaries of Provence” (PIELORZ, The Spiritual Life, p. 307).
“If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.” William Glasser