The cooler months of the year were the period when the Oblate parish missions were preached – especially in the rural villages where the inhabitants were busy in the spring, summer and fall with their crops. Although Eugene could not directly participate in these activities, he was the one who coordinated the personnel and spirit of the missions. This was especially important as the majority of the Oblates were very young. Several of his letters in early 1835 deal directly with the missions.
What you tell me about the effect produced by occasional sermons given at Grenoble confirms me in the attitude I have always adopted of dissuading our men from this type of activity which has never been the cause of a single act of love of God, let alone produce a conversion.
Let’s stick to our missions, retreats, catechetical instructions, this is the way grace communicates itself to souls.
Let’s go straight for our objective by the simplicity of our ministry and leave human considerations to those who seek something other than God.
Letter to Bruno Guigues, 17 January 1835, EO VIII n 502