OUR BICENTENARY: RECALLING THAT WE ARE NECESSARY FOR THE WORK WHICH THE LORD INSPIRED EUGENE TO UNDERTAKE

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

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to OUR BICENTENARY: RECALLING THAT WE ARE NECESSARY FOR THE WORK WHICH THE LORD INSPIRED EUGENE TO UNDERTAKE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “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.” I look long and hard at this today. I think of Eugene and Tempier, indeed of all of the Oblates down through the past 200 years. Certainly my attraction to is no passing fancy to do good – but how do I feel needed by the most abandoned to make a difference in their lives? I think of those who I love and how imperfect is that love for I cannot deny that the mistakes I make, the weaknesses which seem so much a part of me seem almost to have a life of their own. Do I love without resentment and without measurement? I seem better suited to serving so who would go out and be missionaries. In truth it is not so much what I have given to those who are abandoned but all that I have been given. I seem to do much better with the stranger than I do with my own brothers and sisters and yet I love them so.

    This morning as I sit here and reflect there is a small hidden sense that I do belong, that I am where I am supposed to be and that my job right now is simply to ‘be’ in this space for as long as it takes. I am quite without control here and unable manufacture any solid answers or good ‘feelings’. It is as if God is saying to me to sit where I am and go about my daily routines, those oh-so-small duties of service that seem not to make much in the way of a difference. Who notices the person who daily sweeps the steps so as to clear the dust and grit that would pile high if not swept away? There is a fog of doubt, clouds of unsureness. I picture Eugene striding forward (like the statue of him in the chapel of General House and the church in Klokoty). Not sure that I am striding – more like I am shuffling along. This does not strike me as the right way to prepare to celebrate or to move through discernment somehow. I think I wanted God to give me something more definite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *