REQUESTING LABORERS OF THE VINEYARD TO SPREAD THE FAITH IN THIS CONQUERED LAND

The Bishop of Marseilles proved to be far more enthusiastic than his nephew on this occasion. In fact, on July 11, without first consulting the Founder, Fortune proposed, in a letter to the Grand Aumonier, that the Oblates of Mary Immaculate be sent into Algiers. These men, he wrote

have been earnestly begging me to request Your Eminence for the favor of being among the laborers of the vineyard who will go to spread the faith in this conquered land. No community could possibly be better suited to carry out this great work. Our constant dealings with Algeria, the ease with which the Arab language can be learned in Marseilles and even spoken with natives of that country because of the large number of Levantines living in our city, all contribute to further the hope that these Oblates will be assigned to this holy undertaking.

The following day, in practically the same words, Bishop Fortune sent the same request to Prince de Polignac [ed. He was the prime minister and foreign minister of France]. On July 15, he ordered a solemn “Te Deum” of thanksgiving to be sung at the Cathedral the following Sunday.

Leflon 2 p. 332

The revolution in Paris, which broke out a couple of weeks later, put an end to these missionary plans. Nineteen years would pass before the Oblates would go to Algeria as missionaries in 1849.

 

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One Response to REQUESTING LABORERS OF THE VINEYARD TO SPREAD THE FAITH IN THIS CONQUERED LAND

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This sheds a new light on Bishop Fortuné for I would not expect this of him. I note that he too understands the necessity of being able to talk to the people who would be ministered to in their own language as he speaks of being able to more easily learn the language of the natives of Algeria.

    Eugene’s words which we read yesterday: “The Lord will manifest his will to us when it pleases him, we will try to aid his plans…” ‘The Lord will make known to us his will…’ I think of the whole process of discernment. Discernment can be conscious, but it can also become a part of our way of being, as it seems to be with Eugene. And it can take a short time or a long time and in some cases it seems that it can be ongoing. It also entailed humility and trust in God. I see that in Eugene’s life and in the lives of those early Oblates who first came to our country.

    Not the focus of Frank’s posting today but it is what has hit me this morning – perhaps because that is what I am consciously entering into these days. Your will O Lord, Your will.

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