We may fall into the danger of thinking that Eugene’s complaints in the preceding letters showed an Oblate congregation that was in a state of chaos. This was definitely not the case.
The demands of the people for the ministry of the Oblates were never-ending. The missionaries responded with zeal and begged Eugene to send more Oblates to their communities – and they complained when he did not comply. Eugene’s response:
Do not add, I beseech you all, to the difficulties of my position and my soul’s bitter distress, the painful experience of your complaints coming in all at the same time and from every direction. Is it my fault that there aren’t more of you and if amongst our small numbers there are so few men of ability? I would give my life to make your number grow, knowing the good works that you could achieve, that offer themselves in every quarter but which will remain undone for lack of workers.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 15 September 1836, EO VIII n 583
Today, with the blossoming of the charism families in the Church, the Mazenodian Family has come forward to be an integral part of the mission given to the Church by the charism of St Eugene.