In 1826 the Oblates had been involved in assisting the local clergy of Aix in the preaching campaign of the jubilee celebrations. In Rome, Eugene followed the progress of this preaching and responded.

From this letter it seems that the Oblate church had not been chosen as one of the preaching venues, and so Eugene insists that the Oblates way of life be a “preaching” through everything that they are and do.

I am annoyed not to have made sooner the reflection that I have just made to you regarding exterior behaviour. It was a very important thing, since everyone looks at them, that they preach through their behaviour as they walk in the street, at the church by their profound respect for the holy place, and in all places by their manner in their words, their kindness, their friendliness. The city will have been surprised to see so many missionaries coming out of this house which they had frequently thought to have stopped functioning; thus it was essential that they be struck still more by the edifying spectacle of the good behaviour of these resuscitated men. You still have time to insist on my behalf on this very important point.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 30 March 1826, EO VII n 233


“The most efficacious way of making a difference is to lead by example, and doing random acts of kindness is setting a very good example of how to behave in the world.”   Misha Collins

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I used to think that preaching meant to be standing at the pulpit telling all of us what we were to do to be good people, even – to be loved by God. It of course was only done by a priest so not something that I would ever have to worry about. So how shall I preach this day when I go out? Eugene says to do it “by their manner in their words, their kindness, their friendliness”. I am pretty ordinary and as I go about today celebrating our nation’s birthday I will, like others, be dressed in some red and white, most likely waving a small flag, joining in as we sing O Canada at various events during the day. Am pretty sure there will not be anything to make me stand out from any others, I will be simply another person dressed in red and white, laughing, celebrating and thanking God for this wonderful country he has blessed me to belong to.

    Will there be opportunities today to preach today in any way? I would guess only if one can find preaching in joy and celebration, in gratitude and appreciation. I will begin with morning Mass and then head out for the fun of it all. Celebration will be the example I set. Pretty basic stuff. Even being here in this place, able to pray and reflect with all who come here is the beginning of that celebration of life. And so I share and sing to you this hymn of thanks.

    “Praise the Lord of our nation, praise the Lord of our Land. He smiles on us and watches where we’re going, he holds us in the palm of his hand. Our God has blessed us with a harvest, he given us the mountains and our dreams; sends the snows and the rainfall, drys us with his sunshine, and makes the winds come to a gentle breeze. Praise the Lord of our nation, sing praise for ever more. Don’t you know that the Lord has blessed this mighty nation? He’s given us everything. Don’t you know that the Lord of life has given us salvation, through our savior Christ the King. O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command, car ton bras sait porter l’épée, il sait porter la croix! Ton histoire est une épopée – des plus brillants exploits. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” Happy Canada Day!

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