After his years of being unable to work in the Diocese of Marseilles, due to his conflict with the government, Eugene is now back in the full swing of activity:

My dear child, for heaven’s sake, don’t ever reproach me for my letter’s delay and for being behind with my correspondence; it can’t be avoided. My life is a continuous purgatory. I don’t have time to breathe. I recently wrote a letter to l’Osier after six attempts and that was on my desk for a fortnight.

Letter to Casimir Aubert, 16 December 1835, EOVIII  n 552

Yvon Beaudoin explains the activity: “Bishop Fortuné de Mazenod was ill in November. Bishop Eugene de Mazenod had “to do the pastoral visitations in the principal towns of the cantons within the diocese, three ordinations, a host of ceremonies, not to mention attendance at Council meetings and involvement in the ordinary administration of religious affairs.” (REY, I. 672). The Bishop of Icosia was also getting ready to leave for Paris to take the oath. A letter from Paris had informed him that the Council of State was at last giving its approval to the proposed ordinance which would declare that the brief nominating him to the Bishopric of Icosia had been received officially in the Kingdom.”

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I realize in a particular way this morning the absolute and all enveloping ‘grace of God’ as we reflect on Eugene’s ordinary of his day – preparing to take the oath and with that receiving the King’s and his government’s approval to his ‘Bishopric of Icosia’. So much in all of that and yet even as he chides Casimir it is done gently with love – “my dear child”. Eugene seeming to thrive in all that was before him – he drew energy from all of life.

    Today is actually the Anniversary of Eugene becoming the Bishop of Marseilles – October 2nd, 1837.

    And today is the anniversary of my first Commitment to the Oblates and my community and in becoming an Oblate Associate of OMI Lacombe Province October 2nd, 2014. How could I not have connected the two before?

    Last night I dreamed of being told that I needed to write my story of who I am on a small tablet – but each tablet was the wrong one. I grew frustrated because there did not seem to be an appropriate tablet for me to state who I am. I awoke from the dream wondering what my tablet looked like and as I sat with Eugene speaking to us I remembered what today, October 2nd was for both Eugene and myself – a shared anniversary, although I have never thought of it in that way before.

    This morning I look at what my life is just as Eugene might have done as he wrote to Casimir. Today Eugene and I find our celebrations in the ordinary of our day – in how we go about being who we are called to be. Like Eugene I too draw energy from all of life that is before me. Along with all the members of this beautiful Mazenodian Family it will be the busy ordinary of today that we celebrate with and for each other today.

    “Here I am Lord
    Is it I Lord?
    I have heard You calling in the night.
    I will go Lord
    If You lead me;
    I will hold Your people in my heart.”

  2. Erin says:

    Happy Anniversary, Eleanor. Isn’t it wonderful to think back to that day five years ago when five of us made that commitment together. Thank you for all your reflections on this blog.

  3. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene recognizes the part that Casimir has played in the lives of the two young men who made their perpetual oblation. He was focused on not just the two young men, but also on the man who had taught, mentored, loved and led them.

    It is not a stretch to imagine the love and joy that filled Casimir on that special day as he presented the two before God. Casimir himself was only 26 years old. And just like the men who went out and gave missions gained confidence when those missions were a success, so too for Casimir who was able to see first-and the fruits of his work.

    I think of the African proverb which says: “it takes a village to raise a child”. Leadership of this sort is not simply a hierarchical or administrative position but rather a stepping-up of each person to take part in raising another.

    Yesterday I celebrated the anniversary of my own Commitment to share in the charism of St. Eugene and live that in a most particular way. One of the group who I made my commitment with was at daily Mass yesterday and that was truly the ‘icing on the cake’.

    I think of the many – past and present – who God has placed in my life and who have walked with me on our journey – for we are all in it together. All of us together in whatever capacity God has called us to be. It was not just a one-time effort for it continues on – there is no ‘going our separate ways’ for we are joined in our hearts. Again the image of the flaming hearts –I this is what the Mazenodian Family looks like.

    I give thanks today to all those who directly and indirectly play a vital role in my life, in our lives. We are the fruits of each other’s’ labours!

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