Bernard Vachon, an Oblate scholastic, had been ordained sub-deacon. This function no longer exists in the Church but, at that time, it was a definitive commitment to the clerical state towards ordination to the priesthood. Eugene was not present at the ordination, but congratulkate shim and reminds him that his commitment is like a marriage to the Church.
Although you did not announce to me, my dear friend, your nuptials with the Church, I shall not neglect to compliment you. Now you are a subdeacon, consecrated to God henceforth in a special manner; it is a great step that you have made: ad majora still [ed. as a step towards the greater ordination to priesthood]; I am quite vexed at not being able to attend the ceremony of this first consecration, I would have embraced you heartily but I have nonetheless not forgotten you for I did not fail to offer Mass for our ordinands and you have had a good share for alas! there were only two of you.
I hope to call you at the Feast of the Trinity for the diaconate and in September for the priesthood; arrange matters in consequence with the good God; become more and more virtuous and holy and do not forget me in your prayers to which I commend myself while embracing you with all my heart. Adieu.
Letter to Bernard Vachon, 9 April 1824, EO VI n 134
“When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we confess Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord: we are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.” Pope Francis