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