When the requests for a mission season came in, they were put together and Eugene and the Oblates evaluated them and made decisions on how to proceed.
What emerges clearly from this letter is that the method of the Oblate missionaries was not one of superficial preaching, but of an in-depth approach of taking over a village for several weeks ion order to achieve lasting results. (See http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=367 for further details)
My dear Courtès. I did manage to get our men together to plan the assignments for the various missions that we have been asked to do. The outcome of our meeting was that we shouldn’t hesitate to give preference to missions over retreats. Also that the Peynier mission must be determined, since the Pastor requests it, but that it isn’t opportune to offer the retreat at Fontvieille in as much as such an exercise given by only two missionaries over a fortnight would have only shallow results in a population of some two thousand five hundred. If one is going to get involved at all, it must be in an effective way, and the thing is impossible as conceived by the pastor of Fontvieille. If the old fellow has given you an answer in the meantime, you can tell him without hesitation that you approached me on the matter and I refused to release missionaries for a simple retreat. To achieve anything in such a tough area at least three missionaries are needed on a four-week mission. He can take it or leave it.
The Auriol mission was wonderful, our men worked like Trojans but are ready to get back to work.
Goodbye, my very dear friend.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 3 February 1835, EO VIII n 504