While Eugene had been in Switzerland, it had been decided that his elderly uncle, Bishop Fortuné, troubled by the anti-religious sentiment in Marseilles, should leave France and take refuge in Nice. Eugene went to meet him there, after a frightening journey over the mountains in which their carriage had been stuck in the snow.
At last, at nine o’clock in the evening, we arrived at Nice and were taken to our respectable and beloved uncle; and after a good supper, of which we had an extreme need, we went to rest, thankful to God that no one took ill, not even my mother, who was wonderful at an age as advanced as hers.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 2 December 1830, EO VII n 372
Another challenge: the Archbishop of Aix had just died, and Eugene voiced his concerns as to the standpoint his successor would take regarding the Oblates. In case the Oblates would have to leave France, Eugene had made approaches to religious authorities outside to see about the possibility of establishing the Oblates there.
I had great sorrow in not being able to preside myself the office for the Archbishop, for I sincerely mourn this good Prelate. I share your fears regarding the choice of his successor and for several reasons; that is why I will not forget to prepare a shelter for those who will likely be asked to depart. I have proceeded with this matter since my departure from Fribourg and I am not without hope of succeeding, if our prayers obtain God’s protection; there are great difficulties to overcome, but what obstacles can thwart the prayers of souls who only wish to please God?
Letter to Henri Tempier, 4 December 1830, EO VII n 374
Troubled times indeed!