YOUTH: MEETINGS BUILT AROUND ENSURING AN EQUILIBRIUM

Eugene describes a typical day’s activities at a meeting.

I have a pretty enclos (property) at the town gate. There I have got up a chapel for our spiritual exercises. In the garden they have all the space they need to play prisoners’ base, bowls, etc. They gather there every Sunday and Thursday. On the stroke of seven on Sunday, we begin with a little reading to give time for people to come. Then Matins of the Blessed Virgin is said. After that I give an instruction of about an hour, more or less as indicated on the day. The instruction is followed by Lauds, during which I get vested for holy Mass. After Mass, the little hours of the Blessed Virgin, and this ends our morning exercises. Lunch is taken before returning to town, where we arrive usually in time for High Mass. After dinner, after Vespers, an hour’s catechism for those who need it. Everyone is present however. The whole of the time remaining until evening is spent in play.

To Forbin-Janson, June 1814 in O.W. XV n 125

The idea of the two Masses would have enabled the young people to receive Communion at the first one, without having to fast all morning. Then, attending High Mass in their parishes was probably to reassure the parish priests that Eugene was not “stealing” their youth

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