With his Roman visit over and the Oblate Congregation formally approved, Eugene now settled back into his regular occupations in Marseille – as Vicar General of the diocese and as Superior General of the Oblates. Unfortunately for us, we do not have too many letters from this period. His confidant was Henri Tempier, who also lived in Marseille, so there was no written correspondence between them.
At the end of the July 1826 General Chapter there were 22 Oblates in vows and it was with these men that the missions continued under Eugene’s guidance. While he had been in Rome, the Oblates had exhausted themselves preaching the jubilee in Aix. We have seen some of the correspondence around this situation (cf. http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=2592 for example). Now Eugene looks at the foolishness of all this energy that should have been used for the benefit of the poorer villages instead of the city.
I had enough to groan over their attributing so much importance to preaching of the Jubilee at Aix. If, in the place of this show, they had evangelized the poor abandoned souls, God would have been glorified and we would have been heaped with benedictions and consolations, instead of the disappointments that we have experienced.
I am not therefore tempted to consent that we recommence. Say what they will, I couldn’t care less and I exhort you to care not one bit more than I do. We are not, moreover, in a position to give a mission at Saint-Rémy; but there will be no shortage of little places for us.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 22 July 1826, EO VII n 250
“Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor.” Pope Francis