Unable to preach, Eugene continued to do the “announcements” .To understand what this means we need to look at the role of a “master of ceremonies” or of a television “anchor person” – it is the person who kept the whole mission together and gave it a unity of direction.

They are kind enough to accept the little that I give. I hold on to the announcements which, in conscience, can only be given by myself. They are so attentive, the silence they keep is so great, that they hear me everywhere although I speak in a low voice.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 14-15 November 1818, O.W. VI n.34


As for the announcements, they are indispensable; they have more effect than all the rest… So I hope you will leave me free to give them and all the more because, given the situation, it seems necessary. Yesterday evening I abstained from giving them and they were displeased. You know I twine things together somewhat. This way of going into matters has pleased them extraordinarily here. Do not think I preen myself because of it. I am affected only by the grief of seeing myself unable to do more.

Letter to Henri Tempier, December 1818, O.W. VI n. 37

Eugene’s suffering due to his ill health had brought a lot of blessing and positive energy to the whole team in the success of the mission.

[Refer above to the entries of 15-18 December 2010 for more details on the announcements]


“Being a conductor is kind of a hybrid profession because most fundamentally, it is being someone who is a coach, a trainer, an editor, a director.”   Michael Tilson Thomas

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  1. John Mouck says:

    I wish my parish priest would read this – what a wonderful way it would be to send us all forth to love and to serve, by wrapping the gospel message and homily all together in meaning for those who slept through or missed the point. Instead we hear about parish suppers and our financial situation – talk about anti-climactic…

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I went back and read the entries from 2010 and I really like what you are saying here Frank. Having done weaving of large wall hangings I know what it is like to bring ideas, colours and textures together into a beautiful piece of work. No one colour or type of wool alone was able to convey what everything did together.

    The conductor of the symphony is much the same, as is the facilitator of a workshop or a retreat master. Eugene had the passion, the vision and the wisdom to often see things as they are and discern what was needed. I have not looked at him in quite this light so closely or perhaps so deeply. I see for sure that it was not a case of one man thinking he could do it much better than anyone else and so had to do it all (remembering the checks and balances of yesterday) – but rather a case of one man having the vision and the wisdom and being able to as you put it weave it all together. We could (and do) learn from him.

    And I am beginning to see very clearly how all of these posts, even though written separately, really do come together, they are woven into an overall image of how Eugene lived, how the Oblates live and how we can all live. Thank you Eugene and thank you Frank.

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