Describing a visit to one of the large Jesuit houses in Rome, Eugene was prompted to write:
You could hear at the same time some other voices, in every part of the house, singing the divine praises; those were other groups directed as well by the Jesuit Fathers, and divided according to age and classes of the young people. I could not help thinking of that brilliant and edifying congregation I had founded at Aix, which furnished so many clerics for the Church and good Christians for the world, and which would still exist, in spite of my absence, if jealousy and false zeal had not conspired against it and destroyed it.
Roman Diary, 3 April 1826, EO XVII
The Youth Congregation had been built and maintained by the zeal, enthusiasm and personality of Eugene. When he left Aix in 1823, however, the youth started to move elsewhere. The Youth Congregation had filled a gap and major need when Eugene had started it during Napoleon’s persecution of the Church. But the situation had changed and, as Yvon Beaudoin points out: “In 1826, the youth sodality at Aix still existed, with only a few members, under the direction of Father Courtès. The “Journal de deliberations” ceased in 1837. The Jesuits, who had taken over the Minor Seminary at Aix in 1821, founded a Marian Society there, which soon attracted the Christian youth from Aix. Likewise, there was a youth society similar to the one of the Oblate house, first directed by a Jesuit Father and, after that, by the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of the Child Jesus, founded by Abbé Timon-David.” (Footnote to the above Diary entry)
“Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.” Pele