Father Frederic Mouchel had come to the Oblate novitiate as a priest, when the time for his oblation came, Eugene had hoped that this act of oblation would be done at Christmas or the Epiphany. In this way he would be making himself, and his professions of the vows, one with Jesus who became poor and obedient.

He would have had the consolation of making his offering to Jesus our Saviour at the foot of the crib, on the beautiful night of his entry into the world. However I do not want to place too big a distance between him and the mystery that he would have so honoured by his oblation. Jesus is always poor and obedient even in his manifestation to the gentiles who came to adore him at Bethlehem; not having been able to be present with the shepherds, he will be able to range himself behind the Magi and offer with them gold, incense and myrrh.

To Jean Baptiste Mille, 19 December 1831, EO VIII n 412

Fr Mouchel did indeed join the “procession” of self-giving and was to become a generous missionary – see

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Imagine what it is like to be called to work with gifted people when you do not seem to be so gifted as they and yet there you belong, there you are called to be. It was a joy to read of Fr. Mouchel this morning. Though he did not seem to shine with the same bright light as some others who were shepherds… well Eugene said that he did not want to place too much space between Mouchel and the mystery that he ‘would have so honoured by his oblation’ and then went on further to say that Jesus is always poor and obedient and that somehow captured who Mouchel was. Imagine what it is like to be spoken of in the same breath of Jesus.

    Today my reflection seems to be bathed in the light of ‘obedience’, a soft light that is able to gently move aside the darkness. It is neither oppressive nor heavy but rather like gossamer, the light being shed by the life of Mouchel is like gossamer. I am reminded a little of Brother André here in Canada. The light of the everyday, transforming the ordinary to extraordinary.

    I think of my last course assessment which is due tonight at midnight. It is almost complete and yet it is so far from perfect. I look at all that I have received from these studies – most particularly the 2nd course, the light it has shed is brilliant, as bright as the sun, as life giving of that centre of light. Oh that I could respond with as much light as I am sure other students will do. It is still percolating within me, finding its place and so I come a little late like Mouchel. Like him I want to give all that I can – maybe not so brilliant, but with the light of obedience such as Mouchel’s.

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