Eugene and his uncle were forced to stay on Paris for several months to prepare for Fortune’s episcopal ordination and all the work with the Government and Church for the reestablishment of the Diocese of Marseille, which had not existed independently for over 21 years. Structures had to be set up and people had to be appointed to run the administration. For this reason, Eugene sent Henri Tempier to spend some time in Marseille to gather whatever information was needed by Eugene and Fortuné in Paris. Tempier was also consulted on many decisions that had to be taken. One of them was as to who Fortuné should appoint as his second Vicar General and Tempier had suggested the name of a Father Ricaud. Eugene replied:
I had thought of the project which you proposed to me. M. [Ricaud] is certainly well apt to inspire confidence, but I will not hide from you that my uncle has eyes on another, and this other is you. I understand all you would reply to this but such is his idea.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 21 May 1823, EO VI n 104
Eugene supported the idea as he saw it as being “in the interests of the Society” of the Missionaries “to make this breakthrough” and which he saw a “wise and very appropriate.”
Eugene stressed to Tempier that Fortuné’s appointment as Bishop of Marseille was motivated by the need to assure the future of the Missionaries by having a Bishop to protect their interests and give them stability:
But it also must be said that the good of the Society has motivated a great deal the steps that I believed I had to take. One must also give credit to my uncle in that this same motive has always weighed much with him and, if he has been able to feel happy over his promotion, it was only in great part in the hope of bringing benefit to us. It is certain for that matter that he would never have accepted the burden, really too heavy for him, if he had not really counted on my devotedness and on that of the whole of our Society.
Eugene sums up the reasons why he had so actively promoted the appointment of Fortuné as
a bishop in order to provide our Society with the means to do good in the Church, to consolidate its existence, etc. I cannot, in conscience, after having contributed so powerfully to its rise, not provide it with the indispensable means to fulfil its task worthily. It cannot succeed therein without my help; I ought therefore to devote myself to it. But this obligation weighs on me only for having wished to achieve the good of the Society; therefore the Society owes to me the assistance which is necessary to fulfil my duty as best I can.
Letter to Henri Tempier, June 1823, EO VI n 107
Thus Henri Tempier was to join Eugene in Marseille and remain at his side until 1861.
“This was one of the heaviest crosses that Father Tempier bravely carried for nearly the next 40 years.” Yvon Beaudoin