As the Oblate Superior, Eugene was the one with overall responsibility for the religious life, the mission and the spirit of the Missionaries. He kept his finger on the pulse of the congregation through regular contact with each one, and expected regular letters and reports from each Oblate.

My dear Father Mille, you mustn’t think I’m in a bad humour if I don’t write much: it really isn’t my fault, but I can’t keep up with all my affairs, and my correspondence must necessarily feel the effect. But that is no reason why you should deprive me of your letters. As a rule one is due at least once a month, not counting special occasions such as missions, retreats, etc.
Goodbye. I thank your dear colleagues for their kind letters. I reply with an affectionate embrace and a blessing for them as for you.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 15 January 1835, EO VIII n 501

He reflects some of this to Father Aubert

I’ve received a very consoling letter from Father Vincens at N.-D. de l’Osier; Father Mille, superior of N.- D. du Laus, has written me in his turn; Father Bernard continues to work at Billens and the others too; I have just sent Father Moreau to lend a hand to our two Corsicans (ed. Fathers Guibert and Telmon who had been chosen to begin an establishment in Corsica).
From all this you can see that the blood is circulating in our veins.

Casimir Aubert, as the director of formation of the novices who was responsible for helping them to develop a missionary zeal, was asked to share these inspiring descriptions with them.

Tell our students about it for their edification. It will re-kindle their zeal, for they must be given frequent talks on the principal end of the Institute.

Letter to Casimir Aubert, 11 January 1835, EO VIII n 500

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    At Easter a friend lent me the book “Left to Tell – Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust” the story of Immaculée Ilibagiza in her words. It is a powerful, inspiring communication of how she survived the holocaust with and because of her immense faith in God’s love for her. She communicated her spirit – how God carried her through that living hell, so that she could tell others. I am grateful for being able to learn about her, grateful for her inspiration. It reminds me of how Jesus told us he will be ‘with us always’. The immensity of love!

    I think of how Eugene has “communicated his spirit” to me, with his letters and writings, through his sons and daughters. Not just in a history lesson, but real and lived – in the here and now. Real this morning and I am grateful that God has found a way to remind me to communicate, to share, to take part in a love that is not just one-sided.

    Immaculée listened with her heart to God’s love as he spoke to her and how she lived/believed that God was ‘with her always’. Eugene is most certainly speaking to me this morning and I need to respond; it is not only my right but my responsibility to share that there ‘is still blood circulating in [my] veins’.

    Just as Fr. Milled was reminded by Eugene, so am I reminded this morning of what it means to be a part of being a member of a community, a family.

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