The Archbishop of Aix was also not cooperating in letting his men join the Oblates. Eugene pleads his case.
Would you be good enough, Your Grace, to console this afflicted soul who is earnestly manifesting the desire to join our Society. I think I can tell you that by undergoing a thorough examination in a good novitiate, this man who is very weak, but not bad, will probably become capable of doing good work in your diocese or, if he were too discredited there, we would employ him elsewhere. We will do all we can to correct the shortcomings attributed to him and make him fit for good work that bears no trace of his imperfections.
Letter to Archbishop de Bausset of Aix, 13 August 1827, EO XIII n.62
In a footnote to this letter, Yvon Beaudoin explains that the person referred to ”is a priest. Probably it is Jacques Symphorien Reynier, a priest from the diocese of Aix who started novitiate on August 11, under Father Guibert’s direction. He made his oblation on November 1, 1828, but was later expelled from the Congregation.”
Sharing his frustration with Fr. Honorat, Eugene also explained how he had worked to prevent the priests involved from making rash judgments and retaliating foolishly against the Archbishop of Aix. His reticence to release his priests was quite understandable – but it was the example and ministry of the Oblates that attracted them and made them wish to join.
…Neither the authority of the Prelate, nor the wise arguments of the superior have convinced our priests whom I have been obliged to catechize in order to prevent them from acting impetuously. That makes four priests refused to us in a diocese that we have drenched with our sweat for eleven years and where they overwhelm us with work. We have had on our side right and reason, the counsels and apostolic constitutions but to no avail. We have to undergo the law of the strongest for the sake of peace and other considerations besides.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat. 23 August 1827, EO VII n 275
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” Joyce Meyer