Writing to Father Guigues, who was at the Marian Shrine of N.D. de L’Osier, Eugene commends the Congregation’s difficulties to Mary’s intercession.

Pray to the Blessed Virgin that she comes to our assistance, never before has the Congregation experienced a similar storm. Death, apostasy, dreadful persecution from those whose duty it is to protect her. Are these sufficient reasons to cry out to God?

Letter to Bruno Guigues, 4 November 1839, EO IX n 704

Death: Eugene was mourning the death of two Oblates. Fr Albini to whom he had been very close for the past 16 years, and the 22 year-old scholastic brother Morandini.

Apostasy: Fr Jerome Gignoux had left the Congregation and was stirring up violent opposition against the Oblates outside.

Dreadful persecution: at the Shrine of Notre Dame du Laus (which we had served from 1818) the new Bishop and the priests of the Diocese were agitating to remove the Oblates from the highly successful Shrine ministry so that they could take it over themselves.

Yet, in the midst of all this, Eugene kept his eyes on God for strength.


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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    At the beginning of the pandemic four of us who are friends from church came together to pray for one who was in another country and who finding it difficult to get home. We came together in prayer being present to each other. And God heard our prayers and brought the missing one back home to us. Through lockdown and social distancing we have learned new ways of being present to each other. Presence. This past Thanksgiving the four of us met for dinner, each of bringing something to share with the others. Following our shared meal we sat and told our individual stories sharing our everyday life, our struggles and our joys that come from the presence of Jesus and his mother in our lives. There was respect and love expressed in our listening and our presence with each other. It was a prayer. It was perhaps the most natural and beautiful Thanksgiving that I have experienced.

    This morning we have are intentionally present with Eugene and all who join us in our hearts: Eugene is every bit alive and with us as he was 200 years ago with the members of his founding community – his family. And just has he urged Bruno Guigues to pray to our Lady, our Mother, he prays and intercedes for us as we find ourselves experiencing the ongoing storm of a pandemic – every bit as disheartening and difficult as those Eugene was writing about.

    This afternoon our Province begins a series of coming together using technology in “Forward Together: Listening for the Spirit – a generative and evaluative synodal process of discernment for the future of our Province. A new way of listening and being present to one another as we look to God for our strength for out listening and sharing. I dare to ask all of us join us in the presence of God, in prayer as we begin in this new adventure. Mary, our mother and patroness, be also with us in our midst.

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