Adieu, my faithful and dear companion, son, brother and cherished father ….

Letter to Henri Tempier, 21 October 1828, EO VII n 313

In his writings we become aware that Eugene was always conscious of being the father of the Oblate family. Henri Tempier, despite being so close to Eugene, was regarded as a son by him. Tempier’s letters to Eugene always showed his filial affection. Yvon Beaudoin tells us:

“Father Tempier, for his part, was always deeply attached to the Founder and worked together with him with unflagging devotedness. Though on account of his cool and quite reserved temperament he only rarely expressed his sentiments, he manifested his friendship in his activity, day in and day out, particularly in his role as admonitor and confessor, as councillor and collaborator in the service of the diocese of Marseilles and the Congregation…

After the liturgy of Holy Thursday, April 11, 1816, the two friends made a vow of mutual obedience. This was no vain ceremonial gesture on their part. Father Tempier always obeyed the Founder, at times in a heroic degree – in particular, by remaining vicar general of Marseilles from 1823 to 1861 against all his tastes – but he also had the courage to give orders to his superior in serious situations ‑ as in the case of a grave illness in 1829 ‑ 1830 and during the negotiations of the Icosia affair in 1835.”

Yvon Beaudoin, “Henri Tempier” in the Oblate Historical Dictionaryhttp://www.omiworld.org/dictionary.asp?v=5&vol=1&let=T&ID=998


“A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.”   Frank A. Clark

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning I found myself at first struck by the “maleness” of this writing (which only points out my own struggle that I am not always able to push back or perhaps past.) If I am to get anything out of this I need to push past the gender issue and look at it with eyes of a ‘person’. This reflection of Franks, if I look at it, is all about persons who love.

    Although I have known about it for quite some time this morning I want to sit with what it is to make a mutual vow of obedience as did Eugene and Henri. There is in that a recognition of God within and part of the other; a recognition of the different levels(ways) of God’s call to each of them, to be where they were meant (called) to be. Not a lessening thing but rather a loving thing. Not in a soft comfortable safe kind of way but love in a real, be who you are kind of way. As I write this there is a pin-point of understanding of what this kind of love is; so vast and all encompassing is it. There is a perfect harmony where each/all are strong in their own ways, with total acceptance of the other. I do not have the words to wrap around it but it is all tied intricately with God and so I will repeat what Richard Rohr wrote this morning: “In the end, only lovers seem to know what is going on inside of God.” For God is at the center as well as the outer edges of it.

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