Fr. Yenveux, who had collated many of the Founder’s letters commented on this one: “Rev. Fr. Tempier, not having informed in time the Rev. Fr. Superior General of the date of the annual retreat at the house of Aix, and having asked Rev. Fr. de Mazenod to come and hear his retreat confession, the latter admonished him paternally that too often he only told him of things after they had been done, which is contrary to the deference due to superiors”.
The letter has interesting sentiments. Eugene, probably short on patience because of his convalescence and family suffering, was usually inclined to micromanage everything in the Oblate Congregation (we were only 30 then) and was irritated by Henri Tempier’s laid-back attitude of not keeping him informed. “Father Superior” he may have been, but this letter also shows that they were close “Oblate brothers” and this is what was important.
I cannot be annoyed with you about anything, even when you fail in some duty, because you do it rather by distraction or by some sort of habitual independence that your position has given you ever since you joined the Society. Notwithstanding such reflections, I must say I would have left unhesitatingly this very day in order to be with you, had you not let me know that your retreat which began on Sunday would last only four days. I thought I would arrive only after you had made your confession and would thus be of no use to you; so I have not stirred.
I confine myself to uniting my feeble prayers to yours in order to draw down upon you all the blessings that I could wish for myself, and that is not remarkable because I have never considered you other than as one who is identical to myself, that is why I not only love you very much, but share with you so willingly all my thoughts, while being surprised nevertheless that independently of our inter-related positions, you have so much trouble sharing yours with me.
Make a resolution once and for all to be less tight-lipped with me. I learn about things after they have been done. This manner of acting is diametrically opposed to the idea that one ought to have of deference and subordination, understood even in the mildest sense.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 6 October 1829, EO VII n 338