A week later, Eugene wrote again to the young community superior to repeat and underline the same guiding themes:

Don’t be unfaithful to the theological conferences prescribed by the Rule. I have no intention of giving anyone in any house a dispensation. Be firm about this in your community.
Make some summer arrangements for your district. A man can’t work the whole year through without taking a break from ministry.
Goodbye. dear Father Guigues. You don’t write often enough. With my affectionate greetings and blessing.

Letter to Bruno Guigues, 9 June 1835, EO VIII n 518

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    There is a beautiful love here as Eugene writes to Bruno Guigues again insisting that the theological conferences, as written in their Rule of Life, continue. His own firmness was to be a model for Fr. Guigues. This is followed as he tells Bruno Guigues to ensure that they take a break and rest from their work. I smile as I think about those first missions the Oblates undertook – going out on the mission and giving their all – and then returning to become rested and renewed within their small community. A two-way flow of life.

    I remember some years ago how on a retreat we were instructed at the end of each conference/session to go out and relax, to rest and simply ‘be’. When I think back to that time – there was no writing of notes to remind me later of what was said. I simply sat and allowed the gift that was being given to fill me, to saturate my being. And between conferences I spent time resting, relaxing and even taking some naps.
    And finally we have Eugene’s extraordinary parting – his comments in the letter have been firm, but he shows tenderness as he says goodbye to Bruno Guigues. There is love, as he reminds Fr. Guigues to write more often – Eugene wants yes to be reassured that Guigues and his community are following his wishes, but also he wants to stay connected with them and them with him.

    Sharing – mutual sharing is desired – one-way is not so satisfying. Frank speaks of ‘staying connected’. Eugene wants the love to flow back and forth – not just one-way. It must be a two-way connection.

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