I insist that each one takes a rest of fifteen days between one mission and another.

Letter to Pierre Mie, 3 December 1824, quoted by Rey I page 340

The zeal of the young Missionaries had to be nurtured. On the parish missions, which lasted around 6 weeks, they burnt themselves out from early morning till late at night to ensure the best service to the people. Totally exhausted at the end of the mission, they were ready to throw themselves enthusiastically into the next one. Eugene knew, from his personal experience, how damaging this was to their health in the long-run, so he insisted on a period of rest. What it meant was that they would come back to the community and participate fully in its life and the pastoral activities of the group. It was not a holiday but a change to activity to something not as highly-pressured as a parish mission.


“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen to Fr. Gerry Conlan, OMI as he told stories and shared a little of his life in the Kenya mission. Different from the stories that I have heard of the missions in South America or in the Canadian north. I found myself being touched by the sharing of his experiences, of life there in Kenya. It reawakened, reminded me of a simple longing that I have not experienced for quite a while and left me wondering why it all called to me in some way. Gerry twice repeated Eugene’s words of “we must lead the people to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians…” That one phrase that touched me so deeply [and continues to touch me today]. I sat up and took note, asked myself “what am I doing here today?”

    One of the other things that stood out was Gerry’s use of the word community. Again he used it a few times, enough that I noticed and thought about it. And then this morning one small phrase of Frank’s; “….they would come back to the community and participate fully in its life and the pastoral activities of the group.” Those words “come back to community” seem almost to stand out as being shouted. They are like a truth, a reality. They speak this morning like a reminder and an invitation.

    I find them speaking to me, as they have over the past few years and my excuses for not listening seem to be growing weaker and weaker, lacking in conviction, as one by one they get washed away. My one trump card that I have been holding onto so tightly is beginning to dissolve. A distraction away from, or rather a truth leading me to live who I am?

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