In his correspondence with the various bishops, under whose jurisdiction the Oblates ministered, Eugene was always focused on ministry in accordance with the founding inspiration he had received from God. While always wishing to cooperate with tehj nbishops in whose diocese the Oblates were present, any requests for ministry were always subjected to this test. In this case, the Bishop was requesting Oblates for prison ministry – a form of evangelization at the heart of our charism.
We consider you so much our father that we refuse nothing that you are pleased to propose to us. You think that our Missionaries would do well at the prison. So be it. With your blessing, they will certainly succeed. Obedience has worked as many miracles as faith has; my dear Missionaries have experienced that wherever your Lordship has sent them.
The motto is: Let’s do some good while we have the time.
Letter to Bishop Chaffoy, Bishop of Nimes, 10 March 1828, EO XIII n 66
The chaplain can relate to this saying as he journeys with prisoners: “Two prisoners look out the same prison window; one sees bars and the other stars.”