EXCITED TO SEE THE COMPLETION IN SUCH A SHORT TIME OF AN OPERATION WHICH SEEMED INTERMINABLE.

Not long after the arrival of the Oblates in Corsica, Eugene was able to write proudly:

Father Guibert has won his spurs at the first attempt. You wouldn’t believe the speed and ability he has shown in forwarding his task. The seminary is already set up, and on the sixth of the month the solemn opening will take place, in all likelihood by the Bishop himself who will just have returned at that time. Father Guibert left him at Bastia to choose a favourable site to treat with the authorities. Ajaccio is excited to see the completion in such a short time of an operation which seemed interminable.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 2 May 1835, EO VIII n 513

You wouldn’t believe with what ability Guibert has conducted his business, quite unaided, for His Lordship the Bishop stayed at Bastia while Guibert treated at Ajaccio with the civil authorities. I mention it in passing for your satisfaction.

Letter to Bruno Guigues, 3 May 1835, EO VIII n 514

Hippolyte Guibert showed his extraordinary talents in the venture of setting up the major seminary. It is not surprising that seven years later he was appointed Bishop of Viviers, and eventually Cardinal Archbishop of Paris. Understandably, he and Father Tempier were Eugene’s closest confidants whenever a major decision concerning the Oblates had to be made.

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One Response to EXCITED TO SEE THE COMPLETION IN SUCH A SHORT TIME OF AN OPERATION WHICH SEEMED INTERMINABLE.

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    For some reason I am reminded of how Jesus began with 12 apostles and from among them chose Peter to head up the Church. My mind strays and I look at how the Spirit works within the Church today and how the Spirit works during the General Chapter. I notice how during the current Inter-Chapter the Superior General sits in the midst of the gathering of Provincials – none greater than the other as they all share their gifts. I recognize how they have all been endowed with special gifts from the Spirit, each being groomed for something quite specific but as part of the whole.

    And we see the three under the leadership of Hippolyte Guibert, working together so how in a very short time Guibert has managed a smooth transition of the setup of the seminary and how there will be a ‘grand opening’. Three men – each different from the other, working together towards the same end. Anything and everything becomes possible.

    I find myself recognizing something quite specific about Eugene in this time when his movements have been severely restricted by the French government and in a time when there is no instant news service, no real mass communication – Eugene’s letters to Frs. Mille and Guigues are filled with love and pride as he communicates the success of Father Guibert. I am reminded of the few words at the top of the page: “A father’s communication with his many children… that is one of the most agreeable occupations of my life.” (1857) He is making sure that each member of that early founding community are able to share the joys and the sorrows and life of each other.

    My mind moves back to the Inter-Chapter as they continue their work and share that with all of us.

    Then and now we are connected with each other in this Mazenodian Family.

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