When Eugene had lived in Aix, he had made the Oblate church a center of mission where people flocked to be nourished by the solid preaching and by prayer and the reception of the sacraments. He insists that the Oblates try to restore this situation.
Try also, without too much fuss, to restore popularity to our church. Where will they ever glorify more the good God in Aix? The demon well knows that, it is why he has done everything to take the faithful away from it,
Aix, as a mission center, was a place where people came on a Sunday night to receive a solid instruction on their faith. Since his departure the quality of instruction had changed, in favour of general sermons. He points our that the people have a need for instruction – to be taught more and more about their faith.
but I would wish that you perfect the kind of instruction that we give there on Sunday. In my time, I gave conferences which were very useful to instruct and to bring people to God: the church then was not big enough to contain the faithful who flocked from all parts of the city; since they have started giving sermons, there is no longer anyone. I am very annoyed not to be at Aix myself for the close of the Jubilee; we would have arranged to do something about it. I would very much like us to teach catechism with an hour glass on the table; they need instruction. The evening service has not been for a long time the way I used to do it. Substance and tone have both changed. They now give a sort of little sermon. That is not what I had in mind. They spend too much time on it and take too much trouble, all to no avail.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 30 March 1826, EO VII n 233
“If God has given you the world’s goods in abundance, it is to help you gain those of Heaven and to be a good example of sound teaching to your sons, servants, and relatives.” Saint Ignatius