Another of the early Oblates who left an impression on our story. Yvon Beaudoin writes:

Alexandre Dupuy was born in Aix on November 29, 1798. His parents have not been identified. Madame Joannis, Eugene de Mazenod’s grandmother, paid for his upkeep and education until he entered the novitiate of the Missionaries of Provence on October 3, 1816.

His early years were spent in the care of a farmer’s wife on a farm in the demesne of Madame Joannis in the area of Banon near Aix. When he was seven years of age, he was baptized publicly in the Cathedral of St-Sauveur in Aix. His primary studies were made first with Roze-Joannis, the nephew of Madame Joannis, and then with the Frères Gris (Grey Brothers). For his secondary education he went to the minor seminary of Aix. Finally, he followed the formation given to the Oblate novices and scholastics at Aix and at Notre-Dame du Laus. He was ordained on June 16, 1821.

In 1830 he asked to leave the Oblates…  It can be said that his departure was providential for the Congregation. It is thanks to him that the Oblates came to Notre-Dame de l’Osier in 1834, a place where they were still present until recently.

When he left Notre-Dame du Laus, the Abbé Dupuy entered the service of Bishop Philibert de Bruillard of Grenoble. The latter appointed him parish priest of Notre-Dame de l’Osier, also in the hope that he would give new life to the Marian shrine there; it had been abandoned since the French Revolution. In the beginning of 1834 the new parish priest purchased the former Augustinian monastery that was adjacent to the shrine and set about restoring it. Father T. Dassy, who was recovering from a serious illness and needed a change of air, came to spend the summer with him. Father Dassy was a good preacher and easily made contacts with people and he worked so well that he won the Bishop’s confidence and obtained, with the Abbé Dupuy’s consent, that the shrine and the parish of l’Osier be entrusted to the Oblates as early as the end of 1834.

In 1837 the Abbé Dupuy sold his properties at Notre-Dame de l’Osier to the Oblates and then transferred to the service of Bishop de Mazenod, who in that year had become the Bishop of Marseilles 

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Isn’t it amazing how we are all touched in a particular way by the Mazenodian charism and the sharing of it. I find myself smiling as I think of all that I read of Dupuy this morning; for even though he left the congregation he did not sever his ties to them. His heart stayed firmly attached to the Oblates, a member of the Mazenodian Family.

    Once love is given it is never taken away. It does not need to be earned and it does not need to look the same as another’s. I am reminded of John’s Gospel, Chapter 14: “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” As I think of Dupuy and his life-long connection with Eugene de Mazenod and the Oblates there is simple joy that he did not turn away in anger or defeated sorrow. He contributed in a very real way to the family and was obviously a part of the Mazenodian Family (even as he had been as a child).

    I remember how it used to be when a member of the religious left their congregation – in the darkness of night as those the act of feeling called to something different was something to be ashamed of (I am thinking of an aunt who left the convent and what that looked like at that time) – as if we can abandon our brothers and sisters for any reason. I think of a man who was an Oblate, left the congregation but who like Dupuy is now a priest serving an Oblate Bishop. I was saddened when he left the congregation for it was as if there was a small tear in the fabric of the community. But I still love him, dearly – he remains a member of the Mazenodian Family.

    It is never a matter of “you are in – or you are out” for our hearts know no such boundaries and laws.

    Like Dassy, Dupuy was a member of the founding community of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He will always be that. I like that inclusion, rather than seeing his name dropped from the register of life. I leave to ponder who I have been quick to exclude.

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