It is significant that at this very moment when Eugene was confirmed in his role as the founder of a Missionary Society and assured of its future, he thought of Henri Tempier. Tempier had understood the God-given spirit of the Missionaries from the very beginning.
First companion of mine, you have from the first day we came together grasped the spirit which must animate us and which we must communicate to others; you have not deviated in the slightest from the path we resolved to follow; everyone knows this in the Society and they count on you as they count on myself.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 15 August 1822, EO VI n 86
The vocation of every one of the Missionaries was to be like Tempier – to fully grasp the spirit that animated Eugene and to live by it. It is the vocation of the Mazenodian family today.
On a personal note, this text is one of the “wow” texts of Eugene for me and it led me to five years of study and research and writing to explore the question: “What is the spirit that God gave Eugene, and how did he communicate it?” You can find the result of this research at http://www.omiworld.org/upload/biblioteca/Bib_12-01-2011_19-35-08.pdf
“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” Henry Ford