FATHER BRUNO GUIGUES: “ALTER EGO” OF THE FOUNDER
Writing to the Bishop of Montreal to inform him of the appointment of Father Guigues, Eugene refers to him as his “alter ego.”
Given this state of affairs, it will not suffice that I send more members to enable the founding of communities which are requested. I regard it as a duty to make the utmost sacrifice for the sake of suitably organizing a kind of province of our Congregation in America. I have had to choose for that a distinguished man who has proved his worth in a difficult administrative situation. He also enjoys much esteem within and without the Congregation…
It is Father Guigues to whom I entrust this mission, with the most extensive faculties. He will be a sort of alter ego who will have jurisdiction over all the members of our Institute whoever they are, and upon all the communities of the Congregation in America. It is with him that their Lordships the Bishops must deal, respecting the services they desire from the Congregation and the establishments they would wish to be founded in their dioceses, etc…
Letter to Bishop Bourget of Montreal, 7 June 1844, EO I n 37
This “alter ego” was the representative of the Superior General in all administrative matters, but he was also an Oblate who had imbibed the spirit of the charism given to Eugene and would ensure its continuation.
In a word, our Visitor Extraordinary can bring about, according to his jurisdiction in his province, all that the Superior General can bring about in the whole Congregation.
Act constituting Father Guigues as Visitor extraordinary to the Oblates in Canada, 10 June 1844, EO I n 41
… He shall have for the duration of his commission in America all those powers which I exercise in the Congregation with the exception of admission of candidates to oblation, of their expulsion from the Society and of dispensation from the vows of religion, of convoking the Chapter and other faculties not related to the special administration of the Congregation in America.
Letter to Fr Jean Baptiste Honorat, 8 June 1844, EO I n 39
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