RESPECTING PARISH STRUCTURES

Eugene reminds the Pastor of Aubagne that when the Missionaries came to a parish for a prolonged mission, they showed their closeness to the people by respecting the existing parish structures and cooperating with the Pastor and his assistants in their existing pastoral approach. The aim of the mission was to bring a greater spirit of unity to the community.

I hope that your Assistants will want to help us in this demanding ministry, in which case we can include them in our calculations. To sum up I flatter myself that we all form but one family of which you will be the father and that we will have but one heart and one will.

Letter to Father Figon, Pastor of Aubagne, 5 October 1822, EO XIII n. 42

 It was a way of sharing with others the ideals that the Missionaries were living among themselves: one heart and one mind. It is a clear example of the basic principle of the life of the Missionaries: BE in order to DO.

 

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”   Rosa Parks

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One Response to RESPECTING PARISH STRUCTURES

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene so very clearly shows that he is not about the ‘glory and praise’ for himself and the Oblates, but rather to serve and build up for God, for the church, for everyone around him and them. Again his all for God. I find myself softening as I read this, an actual softening and letting go. The image comes of “leaning into” as one does with an embrace.

    “… we all form but one family of which you will be the father and that we will have but one heart and one will.” “It was a way of sharing with others the ideals that the Missionaries were living among themselves: one heart and one mind.” I just pause and sit in those words. Perhaps it is because of my recent trip, but this “one heart and one mind” resonates so incredibly strongly. When meeting with many of the Oblate Associates and other members of the Mazenodian Family for the first time I found myself experiencing an immediate recognition, as if we had known each other for years. Our love was true, already there and something that could only grow. We laughed and cried and sat there together, we simply sat there together. We talked and shared our lives, how we live and what matters, of not just what we do but who we are. We were like siblings separated at birth and then reunited after many years – it was and is more a matter of catching up, of refinding ourselves in the embrace than needing to find a new place. Rather than seeing all and any differences, we saw how we were/are the same, that sharing in the charism of Eugene, in his heart as big as the world. Connections that exist from the beginning now becoming visible.

    Again I am reminded of the image of of the flames and hearts of love from and to Jesus and his apostles, to and from Eugene and the Oblates, to and from all of us in this family, to each other and outward. All one heart and mind.

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