WE OUGHT NOT TO BE AVERSE TO RECEIVING DONATIONS FOR IT IS MONEY THAT WE NEED

 

An extract from the letter advising Henri Tempier for his visitation to Aix. It has no deep content, but is an example of the tendency of Eugene to micro-manage. As superior of the Oblates, nothing escaped his notice to ensure the smooth running of his communities.

I have spoken with Fr. Courtès about the inconvenience of the parlour. He feels this as much as I do, but the difficulty is to find a remedy. During his visit, you cannot refrain from speaking about it. I think that some of the inconvenience could be avoided by their abstaining from entering the parlour during recreation.

Another practical issue was always that of money. The Oblate missionaries received their livelihood from the ministry they were doing. Those training to be Oblates, however, brought in no income but had to be fed and looked after, which was a large expense.

While making your visit at Aix, do not forget to decide on the remuneration for the chaplain of the boarding school of Mlle. Chaniac. In the present state of our poor financial position, we must positively know on what we ought to count. I would wish that we would decline any gift of sacred vessels. The house is richly enough provided. If there are some well disposed people, we ought not to be averse to receiving donations for it is money that we need in order to feed our novices.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 16 July 1829, EO VII n 333

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to WE OUGHT NOT TO BE AVERSE TO RECEIVING DONATIONS FOR IT IS MONEY THAT WE NEED

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene was most certainly human! In one breath we have him trying to ‘micro-manage’ as Frank put it and on the other we have him ensuring that the Oblates be able to receive as well as give.

    This morning I had time to think of the many ways that others – and myself seem to need to ‘micro-manage’ people in life. Sometimes it is more easily seen than others – it happens at church, in the workplace and the schoolroom and at home. It is a trait that I have known in my life but that I seem to be dropping (hopefully) more as I grow older and appreciate more the freedom of being. Guidelines seem to work better in my life now.

    As for receiving donations I am amazed at some my thoughts that I fostered as I reflected on Eugene’s ideas about receiving donations of money. I truly doubt that any of the Oblates joined the community so that they did not have to pay for their needs (or if they did then they soon grew out of that way of thinking). I think back to when I was working and making good money. I donated a good chunk of it to my church and to those who needed it more than myself. I never claimed it on my income tax because I thought that would take away from any goodness there was in my sharing with others. I now claim what I give on income tax but suppose if that was the main reason for my giving I might have to take a good long look at why I do as I do.

    It is as much a gift in being able to learn to give and share as it is to learn to be open enough to receive (which in turn allows others to share and give what they have). It is a part the dance of being human, the dance of loving.

Leave a Reply

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