THEY UNDERSTAND MY DEDICATION; THEY FEEL STRONGER WHEN I AM WITH THEM

When Eugene had become Vicar General of his uncle in Marseilles, life had not been easy for him. Bishop Fortuné was elderly, and so it was his nephew who had to be the hatchet-man to correct and discipline a diocese that had been without a bishop for 22 years. It made him very unpopular among most of the priests and others in authority.

In July 1831 he was on his way to Notre Dame du Laus to do the canonical visitation of the community. In Marseilles disturbances and rioting had broken out on the occasion of elections, and Eugene had been obliged to cut short his trip and return immediately to the city. He was welcomed with open expressions of joy.

… It is on these occasions that one can see if the clergy is behind me.
The fact is that they understand my dedication; they feel stronger when I am with them.
But it is not only the clergy, all the faithful have displayed a satisfaction that is quite remarkable, and I am thankful to them for it.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 17 July 1831, EO VIII n 395

Eugene’s persevering dedication in the midst of difficulties and rejection was beginning to bear fruit!

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One Response to THEY UNDERSTAND MY DEDICATION; THEY FEEL STRONGER WHEN I AM WITH THEM

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    They say don’t shoot the messenger, but…

    Eugene, all of his life, did not shy away from speaking the truth as he saw it, from doing the job he was sent to do. He did it with a view to loving and serving God and then everyone else around him. He was not the first one on this earth to do that.

    I think of my reaction when in the past a Bishop or his Vicar General has spoken out and said how this or that should/could be done. I think of the times when a new Pastor has come to our parish and at some point has said that we might want to look at doing somethings a different way from what we had gotten used to; even as they pointed out that we/I were not ‘wrong’ in our practices, but that we consider a new way of looking at it. No different from a new boss at work coming in and wanting to do things a little differently. Those people and their messages were not always welcomed. Change from what we know and are used to and comfortable with…

    If someone comes at me, fully armoured with sword drawn, I tend immediately to raise my own armour, defending myself even before I am attacked. Perhaps that person is only coming to stand beside me.

    I am glad that Eugene knew that he was understood and loved by all those he served and loved. I think of Jesus who entered the city of Jerusalem amidst cheering crowds and how those crowds were to change their cries. Eugene too will be entering a very dark time.

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