Holy Week and the feasts, care of our sick, concern for their danger, sorrow at their loss, all these have contributed, my dear Father Mille, to delay my writing you …

I am afraid the men at Calvaire failed to inform you of the blessed death of our saintly Father Paris. He severed his ties on the night of the Resurrection after very prolonged cruel sufferings.

Father Henri Paris had been an Oblate priest for 13 years, all of which had been spent teaching at the major seminary in Marseilles, which was staffed by the Oblates with Fr Tempier as its superior. Despite protesting to Eugene that “he had not joined the Oblates to be a professor” he taught Scripture and Theology. During this time he founded a congregation of religious sisters in Marseilles, the “Congregation of the Victims of the Sacred Heart.” After his death they did not survive for many years longer. (See https://www.omiworld.org/lemma/paris-balthazar-joseph-henri/)

As always, whenever there was the death of an Oblate, Eugene referred to his conviction that their dedication had earned them their eternal reward.

Heaven is filling up with our men. If it is consoling to see all those who have been taken from us die as men predestined, it is impossible not to be saddened at seeing our ranks thin out… it is the reward promised those who persevere to the end

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 16 April 1841, EO IX n 728

As we recall our own deceased loved ones, let us keep in mind the words, “Heaven is filling up with our loved ones”

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Today is Remembrance Day here in Canada. A day to remember all those who fought and died during the great wars as they served our country. But for a moment I stop and think about those soldiers who died fighting for the “other side”. Do we stop to houour and remember them as well?

    This is the Month of the Dead and so we pray for all those who have died -not just those we loved or agreed with. I think for a moment of my dad – who was a veteran, but who also was angry and often violent. He had been brought up in violence and so it was how he lived. He seemed never to be able to face what he had done to me and my siblings – but I have no doubt that for all the wrongs that he did there were also the rights and I am sure as he died he was caught up in the embrace of God’s love and is there in heaven, with all the rest of God’s beloved.

    In today’s “Daily Dig” Michael Yandall writes about how we remember saying: “We must ask the Lord questions and go on living, constantly turning our heads to catch a glimpse of the good – or of God”

    It seens to me that this is what Eugene was doing with the death of Fr. Paris. Reading the short account from Beaudoin we could easily judge Henri Paris on his struggles and yet he states quite clearly that Paris is playing his part in filling up Heaven. Eugene is speaking with love, catching the glimpses of God.

    This is how we are called to love. This is what it is to forgive even and most specially with death. We have all been promised a place in heaven.

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