Category Archives: WRITINGS

THE DIFFICULTY OF FINDING A HANDFUL OF DISCIPLES AMONGST ALL THOSE HE HAS RANSOMED WITH HIS BLOOD

Father Mille, the formator of the young Oblates in Switzerland had given a progress report to Eugene on some of the students. One had behaved badly and had been unfaithful to his vocation – something that Eugene always found painful … Continue reading

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GOSSIP OR TRUTH – HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE GOD

Some gossip had reached Eugene’s ears about something that Hippolyte Courtès was reputed to have said about a conflict regarding a newspaper connected with an ongoing conflict in the French church (the Lammenais question, whose details I am not entering … Continue reading

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I EXHORT THEM TO READ THE RULES – PERHAPS THEY WILL HAVE SOME SURPRISES AND MAKE SOME FRESH DISCOVERIES

At the end of his retreat Eugene returned to his responsibilities as Oblate Superior General. He responds to one of the regular reports from a superior on the state of the community he cared for. My dear Father Courtès, your … Continue reading

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ALL WHO HAVE EXERCISED THE SAME MINISTRY AS YOURSELF HAVE KNOWN THE SAME ANGUISH

Jean Baptiste Mille was 31 years old and had been ordained for 18 months – and here he was in Billens as superior of the scholasticate and novice master. Because of the political events in France, Eugene had had no … Continue reading

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ROOM MUST BE MADE FOR THE LORD TO WORK IN

I am annoyed that Bernard is not more sensible of the value of the life and exercises of the novitiate. Lest he be deceived, it is there that is being laid the foundation of all the good he is being … Continue reading

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SHAKY BEGINNINGS TO A FRUITFUL MINISTRY

Father Mille, in charge of the formation of future Oblates in Switzerland, had written to Eugene complaining about one of his novices, Jean-Antoine Bernard. Eugene responded:  I am annoyed that Bernard is not more sensible of the value of the … Continue reading

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SOME GLIMPSES INTO THE BEAUTY OF OUR CALL

Eugene wrote: “But for us, our principal end, I would almost say our only end, is the self-same end that Jesus Christ proposed to himself on coming into the world, the self-same end that he gave to the Apostles, to … Continue reading

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THERE IS NOTHING ON EARTH HIGHER THAN OUR VOCATION

What an assertion for Eugene to make at the end of his retreat! Quite some trumpet-blowing! We are the best! I re-read our Rule during my annual retreat, in a profound spirit of recollection, and I remained convinced that we … Continue reading

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OBLATES WHO ARE NOT IGNORANT OF THESE THINGS AND SEEM TO DESPISE THEM

 I leave my room to take myself to the cathedral for divine service. Gladly indeed would I prolong still further my period of solitude, but St. Peter too would very gladly have remained on Mount Tabor. He was told as … Continue reading

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IN JESUS CHRIST, OUR COMMON CENTRE WHERE ALL OUR HEARTS BECOME AS ONE

The practice of “oraison” that was important for Eugene is illustrated in this beautiful text: We should often come together like this, in Jesus Christ, our common center where all our hearts become as one and our affections are brought … Continue reading

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