The church of the Oblate Mission house in Aix was never a parish. The community was young, dynamic and obviously attracted many people to their services –either in the church or in the various ministries of the Missionaries in the city. Eugene felt a sense of responsibility to these persons, particularly in the case of serious illness and the approach of death.

Art. 1. When those under the care of the missionaries fall sick, we will prepare them for the reception of the last sacraments as soon as possible. Indeed, one should not wait until the benefactors and friends of our Society are in danger of death, before showing them our gratitude and sincere affection in Jesus Christ.

The Missionaries had the responsibility of praying with them and bringing them the sacraments, but it did not end there because they continued being united with them:

We will pray for them many times each day; we will offer the Holy Sacrifice; they will be given a full and complete share in all the good works, prayers, Masses, and penances of the Society. In a word, we should provide all we can for their spiritual and also temporal needs, if it is for the glory of God.

In the case of the dying,

Once the sick under the care of a member of the society have received the last sacraments, their confessor will visit them often, even every day or several times a day, if he judges it to be necessary.

1818 Rule, Part One, Chapter 3, §5 the dying


Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.   Mother Teresa

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am struck once again of the depth of Eugene’s love, total love for his many poor. His all for God was just that – his all. He set the example, became the inspiration. All these rules really are like reminders and guide posts on the journey. Little Post-it notes that help me to remember, call me to stop and take a breath and look at where I’m going.

    His words call me to look at myself – not to condem myself, but to look at how maybe I can use less “excuses” and take the time to “be with”. I have to admit that it can be so easy for me to tell myself that it’s a long bus ride and let someone else who has a car go and visit so-and-so, afterall I am praying for that person. Or maybe I am simply too comfortable (I often want to use the excuse that I am too tired – that is how I excuse myself) and so I say that I will say an extra prayer for … Those are the excuses I tell myself – outloud I might try to justify them by saying “well I tried …” or something like “well I did it x number of times – now it’s someone elses turn”. I need to get “off of my butt” so-to-speak and go “be with”, or “pray with”.

    I thank you St. Eugene. Isn’t it just amazing how God gives us who and what we need to grow into Him.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I must also say thank you Frank for sharing all of this and for allowing me to use your site as a part of my daily reflection and formation time.

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