IT IS MY HOPE THAT HE WILL BEHAVE IN SUCH A WAY AS TO ATTRACT YOUR FRIENDSHIP AND THAT OF THE OTHER FATHERS OF THE HOUSE

Sending the newly-ordained priest Calixte Kotterer, who seemed to have a reputation for being difficult, Eugene gives the community superior an indication of his strengths and weakness.

What strikes me is the spirit of fraternal warmth and friendship that Eugene desired for every community and his desire to bring out best in each member.

Dear Father Guigues. This letter will be brought to you by our Father Kotterer who is going to put himself under obedience to you. I assure you he didn’t have to make a big effort to submit himself to that destination, so much was it to his taste. He is leaving in an excellent spirit. I have every reason to believe that it is genuine. Father Kotterer is full of esteem and affection for you, he esteems his confreres highly and it is my hope that he will behave in such a way as to attract your friendship and that of the other Fathers of the house.
I persist in the view that he is the man best suited to your house. I’m relying on you to look after him well. While he has some negative traits, he does respond to kindness. He is of good heart, and open to reason. In my opinion he has matured.

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

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One Response to IT IS MY HOPE THAT HE WILL BEHAVE IN SUCH A WAY AS TO ATTRACT YOUR FRIENDSHIP AND THAT OF THE OTHER FATHERS OF THE HOUSE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am distracted this morning and find it hard to focus – especially on that which is here before me. It was announced on the news the night before last that there would be a “black mass” held in a bar/restaurant downtown on Saturday night. It is to be held in a very popular part of the city where many of our young people gather. I was horrified as I thought of what an excellent way of recruiting young people that this would present. It would be so open to inviting in the many who are lost and feeling abandoned.

    What can I do, aside from following an almost overwhelming desire to run and hide from it all. That though will not change anything and will help no one. I will pray – but will that be enough I ask myself. Is my faith alone strong enough to help another?

    I will continue to love, just as we do in a thousands of small ways each day. I will continue to see through the eyes of our crucified Saviour and trust God to seek out the one lost sheep while not abandoning us to do that. I will persist in thanking God for having rescued me when I was that one lost sheep.

    I think of Eugene’s words about Kotterer having some negative traits but who also will respond to kindness. What will be the small acts of kindness that might touch those who are empty, lost and feeling betrayed? Prayer is all that I can think of as I get ready to greet another day.

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