During his retreat Eugene recalls that community was one of the non-negotiable constitutive elements of the Oblate vocation and way of life. He was living in community with Henri Tempier in Marseille, but the point of reference was always the established larger local community. Until that was established in Marseille, the primary community was that of Aix. Eugene thus tried to live in communion with that group.
I belong above all and principally to this family for which the Lord has given me so much love and which is for me constantly and so justly an object of admiration…
I will therefore always live in spirit in the most intimate union with them, and while waiting for the possibility of setting up in Marseilles a regular house which may assure us some part of the advantages that are found in abundance in our dear house in Aix, so far as I can I will observe the Rule on my own, conforming so far as possible to the very times of the exercises.
Retreat notes, May 1824, EO XV n. 156
Today this is echoed in our Rule of Life:
C. 37 We fulfil our mission in and through the community to which we belong.
C. 38 Obedience and charity bind us together, priests and Brothers, keeping us interdependent in our lives, and missionary activity, even when, dispersed for the sake of the Gospel, we can benefit only occasionally from life in common.
Each community, whether a house or a district, will adopt a program of life and prayer best suited to its purpose and apostolate.
Constitutions and Rules