In our chronological journey through the writings of Saint Eugene, we had reached the 1st of November 1818, the day that the Missionaries of Provence made vows in accordance with their new Rule of Life. Then for several weeks, we have been exploring some of the main contents of this basic Rule. Now we pick up the story again and follow their “normal” activities: preaching missions, the ever-growing Youth Congregation, the daily permanent mission based in the Mission Church of Aix, and the preparations to expand by establishing a community at the sanctuary of Notre Dame du Laus.

Three “growth highlights” of this day:

On November 1 the Missionaries made their oblation. It was a celebration of life and of a new direction in this 3 -year old Society.

All Saints’ Day has arrived: from three in the morning, those who made up the Chapter are awake; before four o’clock they are all in the chapel praying in front of the altar, preparing themselves for the most beautiful, the most consoling of all the sacrifices.

Mémoires of Suzanne and Moreau cited by Rambert, I, 290-291.

On the same day, the Feast of All Saints, the Youth Congregation met and Eugene noted:

As M. Marcou, a zealot of the third section, has entered the clerical state, Master Leblanc has been named to replace him. He will begin to exercise his functions today with that zeal and piety that have so long distinguished him in the Congregation as one of its most exemplary members.

Diary of the Youth Congregation, 1 November 1818, O.W. XVI

Significant, because Jacques Marcou, at the age of 14, had been one of the founding members of Eugene’s Youth Congregation in 1813. Five years later, the Congregation had helped him to discern his vocation and he went to the minor seminary before beginning his formation as a Missionary. Leblanc, too, would serve the Church as a diocesan priest.

Today, too, was the day when the Missionaries made their final preparations and then set out for a challenging and important parish mission in the larger town of Barjols.

A memorable day – a celebration of growth…


“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”      Brian Tracy

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  1. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    As I wait to load books and boxes into the truck to move to the regional novitiate this reading speaks to me. That as members of the formation team we will part of the discernment process and that maybe to say, Religious Life is not for you, but I sense you do have a call to a diocese. This is an early example of the discernment process in action.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “It was a celebration of life … ” and ” preparing themselves for the most beautiful, the most consoling of all the sacrifices.” I looked up the word ‘sacrifice’ and found mention of “oblatio” – oblation, offering.

    The picture that came to mind though as I reread these words, was not one that we would think of as “sacrifice” but more of oblation, of giving of ourselves (with joy and life) – the picture as I read this was of a marriage – the celebration of life, the preparation of themselves/ourselves for the most beautiful, the most consoling of all offerings. Whether it be through vows to the church, public or private or with promises and commitments to our brother Oblates it was and is the beginings of a new way of life, no longer one and alone, but together with God, community, family. A life that each would/will grow into and deepen with the “normal activities ….”.

    In my mind it is somehow tied in with Richard Rohrs Prayer (this week) of “My life is a joyful participation in the Cosmic Christ.” I have the mental image of young men and women going out to missions, of teachers speaking their truths, of parents loving and teaching their children, of people building communities – all together, united as one.

    The being and the doing. God seems to be making sure that I at least take this truth in and make it my own. I want to say “I get it already” but am pretty sure He is not finished yet.

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