We resume our exploration of Eugene’s journey to Rome in 1825 to ensure the continuity of the Oblates. His main reason for stopping in Turin was to meet with the leaders of the congregation of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary – with a view to a possible fusion of this Italian group with the Oblates in France. The ideals and spirit of both groups were very similar.

Early in the morning, I set about delivering a letter of recommendation that they had given me at Nice for the theologian Gualia. I found him a most respectable man, who received me with a fraternal cordiality… I felt very much at ease in this community. One of the principal members, who is head of the missions (which, in parenthesis, last only eight or ten days in these parts), took it upon himself after dinner to have me visit all over the city, with a pleasantness, a charm that I could not describe to you.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 8 November 1825, EO VI n 205

Eight days later, Eugene wrote again to Tempier about this visit:

I did not have time to finish my letter at Turin because the great theologian Lanteri, having arrived, asked me for the favor of granting all the free time that I would have before my departure. There was altogether so much to gain from his conversation that I had no trouble in granting him a favor from which I ought to derive more benefit than he. This holy, good and wise person is the master, friend and superior of the other theologian, Guala, of whom I have spoken to you in my other letters. From the first moment of our first interview, I prompted in him as much affection and confidence as I experienced veneration for him. It was so to speak a repetition of what took place with Dom Guala, with the difference that being head and master, he put no limit to the marks of confidence that he gave me. Had I come to Turin only to see these two men, my time and the money of my uncle would have been well employed. I cannot tell you in writing what was the subject of the ten or twelve hours of these conferences; the subject was worth the trouble. I need to tell you about this the morning, I set about delivering a letter of recommendation that they hademployed. I cannot tell you in writing what was the subject of the ten or twelve hours of these conferences; the subject was worth the trouble. I need to tell you about this face-to-face.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 16 November 1825, EO VI n. 207

Yvon Beaudoin fills in the picture of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary: “A congregation founded in Carignano (Turin) in 1816… It was Abbé G. B. Reynaudi who initially gathered a few priests at Carignano in 1816. On the advice of the theologian, Luigi Guala, he asked Lanteri to take charge of the group. The institute had set as its goal the spiritual exercises of the clergy, parish missions according to the method of Saint Ignatius, formation of the clergy, absolute fidelity to the directives of the Holy See, etc.” (“Oblates of the Virgin Mary” in the Historical Dictionary, volume I –


“To all the other dreamers out there, don’t ever stop or let the world’s negativity disenchant you or your spirit. If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible.” Adam Green


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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Isn’t it wonderful who we manage to meet along our journey through life and the absolute gift that they/we are? The men that Eugene met and talked with. One wonders what they shared amongst themselves, finding the similarities and yet respecting the unique colours given by God that each of them wore. When he left was he filled with fire, ready to move on with his next steps all the while grateful for what God had given in the other two.

    At a recent retreat I had the opportunity to meet and listen to a man who was in his own way an incredible preacher, who spoke with the authority conferred upon him by the Church, and by God. His talks were incredibly rich with the scriptures and as I listened I became aware of how much our lives are in fact born and lived out in the scriptures, in the very word of God and was filled with a desire to somehow learn more about the scriptures, to myself realise their relevance and place in my daily life. He spoke of the liturgy, of the richness of the liturgy and how it speaks to all of us, calls to us. The Church, he threw open the doors of the Church so that we could see her in all her beauty and goodness, see in her the gift being given to each of us in her and it went past what individuals had taught or mis-taught, it went past all the human struggle and mistakes that we each take part in along the way. I kept hearing how ‘we’ are all called to come and take our place at the table – with no place less than another – and that it is only with each and all of there that there is a table. I heard Eugene speak throughout the week, his spirit spoke to us through all. I listened and was touched as I kept hearing how we are all seeking the face of God, we are all yearning to be in the presence of God. This man was a priest, an Oblate, filled with the love of God – it seemed to permeate every part of his being. I am reminded of when Jesus took Peter, James and John up the mountain and then appeared to Peter along side of Moses and Elijah, but they could not stay up there forever on that mountain top, they had to return to the ordinary, holding in their hearts what they experienced. When the retreat was over – well it was time to come back home and it was okay because I was somehow ready for it. For sure the thought had occurred more than once through the week that it would be so great just to be able to stay and be exposed to such love as God gives, to be able to learn more and take in more. But in truth I had received what I needed, enough – at least for now.

    I wonder if it was thus for Eugene as he traveled. For sure he must have been filled with an even stronger sense and surety of what he was about, what he was being called to do and live out. Maybe not 100% sure of what it would all look like in the end but he had a glimpse of it. He had a dream. I share in a dream and it is only as I take the steps and journey through it that I begin to see what it really looks like.

  2. Ken Hart says:

    Reminds me of the old saying, Anything is possible if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. We should all be focusing on contributing to teamwork for the most abandoned and cooperating with Jesus in support of the Kingdom.

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