Fr. Pielorz tells us about Eugene’s responsibility in the Seminary as a result of Napoleon’s actions:

Father Émery, a fearless defender of the Pope against the encroachments of the emperor, set the tone for the seminary. A furious Napoleon ordered him to leave the seminary in June of 1810 and on October 8, 1811 simply decreed the dissolution of the Society of Saint Sulpice. The directors were forced to leave the seminary before the end of 1811. As a result, the seminary became the diocesan seminary of Paris.

The departure of the directors brought on the appointment of their replacements. Fr. Jalabert, the vicar general of Paris, took direction of the seminary in hand. Among the most zealous of the seminarians, they chose the replacements for the other directors. So it was that… Abbé de Mazenod became master of ceremonies…. But he carried out his functions for only ten months, from January to October of 1812. At the beginning of November, he returned to Aix to take up his apostolate for the poor and the most abandoned souls.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am struck by how the Church in France has long struggled just to ‘be’.

    I am surprised for I think I must always have believed that the Church in France was at risk only for the duration of the 1st Revolution. I think for a minute of the number of churches here in my little part of the world that continue to close because they no longer seem to be relevant in the lives of so many. The churches that are sold off and renovated to become residents for students or to become centres for the Arts. I think of how the Oblates and many other religious orders are no longer having young people approach them with a view to joining them. And once again I begin to understand many of the comments that Eugene would make about his beloved Church and those who served her and were a part of her.

    I understand a little more deeply Eugene’s zeal and his willingness to give his all to God, to give his obedience to the Church, his zeal in living out his priesthood and his being the kind of Bishop he was.

    I see more clearly the people that God used to love and groom Eugene, to support him as he found his way. These were the icons of his time, just as he and the Oblates become icons, just as they are icons in our age and of how hopefully we too become icons of God’s love and mercy with our own lives.

    What an incredible gift: to be taught, led, mentored. The more I learn the more I come to understand a little better how I am, how we are, how people are in current times. I am not hopeless, for I do not know what the future will hold, and I will not give him the way I have been called to live, my own little candle if anything might just burn a little more brightly this morning; for it is being groomed daily in my coming here.

    I am struck by how the Church in France has long struggled just to ‘be’. She still struggles and I see within her the wounds she carries, much as we carry our own, they heal and although they can define us, they can also be that which grow and give us the strength that we will need. There is here a connection to Jesus on the cross and his resurrection. I do not yet have the words but there is a moment of immense connectedness and understanding. I am filled with gratitude for the gift of this moment.

  2. David Morgan says:

    I find the connection with the Sulpicians fascinating. They of course were a major factor in the early development of Montreal. The fact that St. Eugene was educated by Sulpicians in their seminary means he would have been well aware of their role in Canada as educators, parish priests and missionaries. Famous Sulpicians include Marc Ouellet and Louis Riel. I wonder if he had not founded the Oblates, which overshadowed his connection with the Sulpicians, if he would not have considered himself a Sulpician at least in spirit? Fascinating history Frank.

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