THE HAPPINESS OF MY TWO-FOLD PATERNITY

Eugene wrote in his personal journal:

Holy Saturday: Ordination of our worthy Brother Bellon…
Our hopes could not be higher for this well-beloved child, who not only has never earned the least reproach since he entered the Congregation, but has constantly given to all his confreres, both during his novitiate, and during his period as an oblate [ed. scholastic], the example of the most exact regularity, fidelity to the rule, and sustained fervour.
We were together as a family in the chapel of the bishop’s house, where I carried out the ordination, and the feelings that inspired this meeting of brothers echoed the happiness of my two-fold paternity brought me at this indescribable moment when by the communication of the gift of God and the power of the Holy Spirit the bishop gives birth to the priest.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 25 March 1837, EO XVIII

The father of the Oblates rejoices that as a bishop he is able to be the instrument (“father”) of the candidate on whom he conferred priestly ordination.

For further details about the missionary life of Father Charles Bellon see https://www.omiworld.org/lemma/bellon-charles-barthelemy/

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One Response to THE HAPPINESS OF MY TWO-FOLD PATERNITY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Some years ago, during a visit back home to Vancouver, I found a book on the history of that same Archdiocese which began with a list of the names of the founding priests there – they were all Oblates and beside their names was the notation that they were ordained by the Bishop of Marseilles, Bishop Eugene de Mazenod, Founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. There was a burst of joy in reading that, in recognizing what that meant in their lives and in my own. The same Eugene de Mazenod, father to us many sons and daughters.

    I began my prayer this morning by first reading the account of Fr. Bellon’s life with the Oblates. I found it interesting that he died so shortly after Eugene himself; but am able to imagine his joy as he died and was greeted by Eugene; the joyous celebration that took place in heaven.

    I never ceased marveling at how God calls us and Eugene invites us. Yesterday evening a small group of Oblates and Associates met to share on the joy’s and the struggles of Eugene’s life – what that looked like in our own lives. For some the struggles seemed to last a long time and then only after that was there great and ongoing joy; while for others the joys were immediate and only later did the struggles seem to surface. And still we all celebrated each other and gave thanks for the joy of being filled with so much, being called by God as we have been.

    I think of Eugene’s joy as he was present in that room with us last night – celebrating with us, his sons and daughters. It is in this spirit that I greet the new day, the eve of our weekend and celebration of Christ the King. In the midst of whatever trials we experiencing – we give thanks for the riches we receive.

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