THE CHANGE THAT WAS BEGINNING TO SHOW IN THE LIVES OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE

A year after starting the youth congregation, Eugene could see results in the lives of the young people. The letters from its members, that we have in the archives, show that these fruits lasted well into their adulthood.

What had started with 7 young men had grown to 60 in 1814 – and was eventually to reach 280 three years later. Profiting from Forbin Janson’s visit to Rome (which was to include meeting the Pope) Eugene asks him to arrange some official recognition for the youth congregation, so that its members could benefit spiritually in a more formal way.

The change that takes place in most of the young people who come to my place (that is what distinguishes them from the other young people in the town: “he goes to M. de Mazenod’s”), has been so striking that Christian parents, all of them, would like me to take charge of their children.
But it calls for more conditions than their simply wanting it.
It is to cement more the good that is done in this congregation that I would like to obtain from the sovereign Pontiff some indulgences, approvals, and encouragements. You understand the effect that that would produce.

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

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2 Responses to THE CHANGE THAT WAS BEGINNING TO SHOW IN THE LIVES OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE

  1. Ahmad says:

    Sometimes it is hard to see what is staring you in the face! Or more aeltrauccy, what is staring me in the face. At first in reading this all I could see was Henri Tempier talking about some people even as old as forty or fifty years’! And laughing because he would think me ancient at being over 60. And remembering that this was written not quite 200 years ago. But the rest of it how could/would this look in my lived experience today?I keep rereading the 2nd paragraph from Eugene’s letter to Henri: It is not we who chose the place and the time. It was the business of the good God. He views things better than we. Sometimes I want to give in to the temptation to dwell on questions such as why did it take me so long to learn this or why did God wait so long before showing me such-and-such or why did God put me here doing this that I do now? which really is such a waste of time. I can remember when I sobered up in AA (33 years ago last Sunday) a doctor asked me if I would like to know why I had become an Alcoholic. My response to him was no what difference would my knowing make I would still be an alcoholic. Who can know the mind of God? Instead a little attitude adjustment might help how I view something or go about doing or being. I amy never know who I will touch, or how I might touch them. I can so very much relate to Henri Tempier’s being where he was and how he was affected. And to his giving himself a shake and moving on with his evaluation, well it sounds like someone I know really well.

    • Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

      Remarkable Ahmad – this is word for word what I wrote last July to another posting!

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