THEY WILL LOVE YOU AS THEIR FATHER; AS THEIR PROTECTOR AND GUIDE

Then, to allay any fears that the Bishop could have about the independence of a religious congregation in his diocese, Eugene hastens to assure him of the relationship he expects the Oblates to have with the local bishop of the diocese in which they work.

They will be subject to you as to their bishop, they will love you as their father; as their protector and guide, you are assured of their trust and gratitude in advance.
They will certainly do everything possible to support your views and to please you, for they have long been trained to be subject to the bishops, whom their Institute requires them to honor in a very special manner, not “only while being watched,” but “from the heart” [ed. Ephes. 6: 6]. In a word, they will be your men; and though the interior government of their community is determined by their Rules, even in that you will discover that they will do your will, for you do not ask for anything better than to see them live in perfect regularity, in conformity with what the Church has prescribed for them when it approved their Constitutions.

Having re-assured the bishop that the Oblates would be good co-operators in his diocese, he concluded with the wish that the problem of Dupuy and Dassy’s impetuosity could be forgotten.

That is, Your Lordship, what the good Lord has inspired me to write to you in all simplicity. Speak and everything will be ironed out.

Letter to Bishop Philibert de Bruillard of Grenoble, 18 August 1834, EO XIII n 82

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One Response to THEY WILL LOVE YOU AS THEIR FATHER; AS THEIR PROTECTOR AND GUIDE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I sit here this morning recognizing how Dupuy and Dassy were not bad men at all but how in not considering how their actions might be perceived by others, in this case the bishop of the area they made it necessary for Eugene to intervene, not just on their behalf but that of the Oblates and their joint aim – to further build the Kingdom of God.

    Indeed as I sit here this morning looking at my own life I realise the many time that I might have pushed ‘my way’ forward because of my own inner surety that it is the right thing to do. Sadly without first seeking approval and without considering the feelings of others. There are many ways to try and accomplish things and Eugene recognized that. He was not out to ‘ruffle all the feathers’ that he came in contact with. Sometime it is often simply a matter of looking at the bigger picture and accepting that there may be better ways to achieve the same goal. There are times in my life when I need to stop and look at why and how I am doing what I am – is it to appease my own need for affirmation and recognition or is it to serve others in their needs. I need to be reminded of how I wish to be treated and treat all others with that same love and respect.

    “They will love you as their father; as their protector and guide…” Eugene in telling Bishop Philibert how the Oblates will give their all in service to the bishop and goes on to remind the bishop how to respect that the Oblates have specific Rules that they must live by as members of a congregation which the Church herself has ‘prescribed’ for them. Something we all need to be reminded of every so often.

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