God inspired Eugene to begin a missionary congregation, and God invites others to play a role necessary for the success of its mission. The invitation to Henri Tempier continues across the years to all who feel called to participate in Eugene’s charism and spirituality. It is not the question of a passing fancy to do good, but of being convinced of being needed by the most abandoned to make a difference in their lives.
Well, my dear man, what I say to you, without going fully into details, is that you are necessary for the work which the Lord has inspired us to undertake.
Since the Head of the Church is persuaded that, given the wretched state in which France finds herself, only missions can bring people back to the faith which they have practically abandoned, good men of the Church from different dioceses are joining together in response to the views of our supreme Pastor.
We likewise feel that it is utterly necessary to employ the same remedy in our regions and, full of confidence in the goodness of Providence, have laid down the foundations of an establishment which will steadily furnish our countryside with fervent missionaries.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 9 October 1815 EO VI n 4
In our lifetime, the different Popes have identified various places and circumstances where the “situation is wretched.” Today, Pope Francis unmistakably continues this tradition. Virtually every day as I listen to Pope Francis inviting us to awareness and response, I hear the echo of Eugene’s voice. Both men are focused on the Cross and the Savior’s predilection for the most abandoned. That is the reason why Eugene “laid down the foundations of an establishment which will steadily furnish our countryside with fervent missionaries.” They both invite us to celebrate the anniversary of our foundation with a renewed commitment to the Cross and the Savior’s predilection for the most abandoned.
Our Rule of Life echoes the invitation:
“The call of Jesus Christ, heard within the Church through people’s need for salvation, draws us together.” CC&RR, Constitution 1
“Wherever we work, our mission is especially to those people whose condition cries out for salvation and for the hope which only Jesus Christ can fully bring. These are the poor with their many faces; we give them our preference.” CC&RR, Constitution 5