Eugene’s constantly repeated reminder: the success of any pastoral action depends on the quality of one’s relationship with God – otherwise we are mere functionaries and not disciples.
I recommend you take it upon yourself to see that regularity is observed: oraison, examination of conscience, etc. Do not be men totally involved in exterior activities: let people not get the idea that you have no more than the prayer habits normal for a good priest. Such dissipation causes very great harm.
… Do not forget that you are missionaries by profession, and consequently you have a Rule to observe during missions which is proper for that period, foreseen beforehand, already lived out, in a word, familiar to each one of you. This applies also to your behaviour which must be serious and reserved.
…In a word, act in such manner as not only to do much good but also to leave behind you a true impression of sanctity. Otherwise people will say that you are only doing your job. You must be absolutely men of God, work only for God, walk unceasingly in his presence, edify from morning till night all those who deal with you or who surround you.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 20 January 1837, EO IX n 603