Bishop Eugene de Mazenod, committed to be in Marseilles, nevertheless took great interest in the missionary work of each of his Oblate sons.
Continue this vocation with trust and courage, you see how the good Lord guides your steps and helps you.
Then he referred to the reconciliation ministry that the Oblates were doing in Corsica between the violently opposed factions. It was not sufficient to bring about reconciliation in words and emotions. It was necessary to provide each party with the opportunity to express their disputes (usually over property and power) and then to work together to a mutually agreed solution. The Oblates became neutral mediators to arbitrate a permanent settlement.
I certainly approve that you agree to be the arbitrators of the disputes that maintain discord between families. To this end, however, you need to acquire some knowledge of the laws that govern the subject. You will have to read the civil code because you have to be careful not to risk taking decisions that may be in conflict with the law. Equity does not always suffice.
You must act with much prudence in all the cases and persuade the parties as far as possible to accept willingly the decisions you give as motivated by a spirit of the most perfect impartiality.
Letter to Fr. Etienne Semeria, 10 November 1841, EO IX n 748
Eugene’s sentiments echoed those of Jesus, who sent his disciples on difficult missions with these words: “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)