Father Mille was young and inexperienced to be the superior and formator of the Oblate scholastics, in training to be Missionaries in Switzerland. Because of the political circumstances in France, Eugene had had no choice but to appoint a young superior. For ths reason he wrote often to him to guide him. Six new students had just arrived to join the others.
You have six new students. It is absolutely essential that you do for them what was done for you – and more besides; the way the future turns out hangs on that, otherwise you will form good priests but you will never have real students…
Let us learn from experience. It will not be hard for you to see that nobody but yourself can be responsible for this important duty. It’s all very well that Ricard helps out as your assistant but the chief responsibility must rest on you, as a result you will have to ease up in other areas as you cannot do everything.
Mille had been ordained to be a Missionary and he was finding every possible opportunity to do missionary work – and getting out of the formation house far too often.
First of all you must cut back on the outings to Fribourg and on many others too which are probably more justifiable. Stay as much as possible with your community, keep for yourself the over-all direction only of temporal affairs, relying on someone else for the small details. If you can pass on to somebody else the responsibility for the theology class, you would have all the more time to give to your own task.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 24 July 1831, EO VIII n 397
Few of us are involved with the formation of new Oblates. Each of us, however, as a member of the Mazenodian Family, has the treasure of an experience of God and of being missionares in everyday life in actions and words. May we be as generous in sharing our spiritual treasure as others were in sharing theirs with us. What we have received from St Eugene and so many people, may we imitate and do for others.