The treatment was prolonged, so much so that the time for the general confirmation having arrived, there was a fear that Eugene would not be able to take part. His Eminence Cardinal Archbishop Costa, Archbishop of Turin, had the goodness to suggest confirming him in private. But it proved unnecessary to have resort to this kindness, and the child was confirmed with all the others on Trinity Sunday 1792, in the tiny church adjacent to the Archbishop’s palace.
Eugene’s attraction to piety sustained him throughout the time he spent in the college. It showed itself in the pleasure he always showed for religious ceremonies.

Diary of the Exile in Italy, EO XVI p. 30

 We have seen that from the time just before his Confirmation, Eugene was aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit to whom he turned with confidence to obtain strength and courage in a frightening moment. This awareness of the importance of the Holy Spirit never left him. We find many references in his writings.

Robert Michel notes: “Once he became a bishop, the Founder would take most seriously his mission of “conferring the Spirit” to the faithful through the Sacrament of Confirmation. In the wake of the Revolution, a large number of Christians of all ages had not received this sacrament. In his pastoral letter of 1844, he wrote: “[…]

We made it a point of going on every occasion to confer the Spirit on those among them who, until that point, had neglected to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.”
“Holy Spirit” in the Dictionary of Oblate Values


“Earthly wisdom is doing what comes naturally. Godly wisdom is doing what the Holy Spirit compels us to do.”    Charles Stanley

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning I find myself filled with a few more questions than answers, with doubts rather than sureness. Part of it is perhaps with my experience of the Trinity, with each person distinct and yet one. I find myself curiously unable to separate them any more than I am able to separate God from myself.

    I read of Eugene’s incredible faith and trust in God and I am a little awed by it, if for no other reason that it was so completely alien to the life that I experienced as a child. And although I was confirmed I certainly do not recall in any way the Holy Spirit as being a part of my life. I used to joke about my Confirmation, saying that it “did not take the first time around and perhaps it should happen again”, maybe because I secretly wanted it to have meant something.

    Yesterday I viewed an Oblate video that Will Shaw posted – “An apostle who is called by a great favour of God’s mercy” and thought of many of the Oblate Associates that I have met and worked with in the past couple of years. I did it because although I did not see their faces in the video I felt them there, just off camera, and knew that Eugene was speaking of them, to them as well as the religious shown in the video. I did it I suppose because I share, with them, the charism of St. Eugene and the Oblates. I did it because I love them. I did what seemed to come naturally and let them know that I was thinking of them and how I was seeing them. It was not anything extra. And yet I also cannot separate what I did from God in my life, from the Holy Spirit acting within – God is not a ‘separate’ part of my life, the Holy Spirit is simply a part of who I am now. The lines are blurred and I guess I do not want for there to be any separation. Perhaps that is why I have struggled with this today.

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