These chronological reflections now begin deal with the beginnings of our family, the Missionaries of Provence, later to be known as the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
Forbin Janson had invited Eugene to join his group of mission preachers, the Missionaries of France who preached in French throughout France. In this brief extract we see the commitment of Eugene and his prospective companions to the necessity of preaching in Provencal for the benefit of the abandoned inhabitants of the countryside of Provence.
Eugene shows here, however, that he does not see any problems with an eventual coming together of the two missionary groups who have the same aim. The fusion never came about, although the two groups did work together in 1820 for the preaching of the city missions in Aix and Marseille. On these two occasions the Missionaries of Provence remained true to their spirit and preached only in the poor parishes and left the better-off ones to the Missionaries of France.
I dare not tell you how much I have written since being involved in this affair, which you are right in calling ours.
For I certainly intend that our two enterprises be but one. However at this moment, as we begin, we must appear to have in common only the name, so as not to frighten both our superiors and the missionaries themselves who, with the exception of Deluy do not want to travel or work outside the diocese or who at the most (would go) into neighbouring dioceses where they speak the Provençal language. Explain all that to M. Rauzan (ed. the superior of the Missionaries of France).
Letter to Forbin Janson, 23 October 1815, O.W. VI n.5