THE SPIRIT OF SAINT EUGENE CONTINUES TO BE ALIVE
© Laurent Girard / Studio Mazenod (2011) – Tableau du Jean-Jacques Martin
After Eugene’s death a General Chapter of the Oblates was convoked in 1861. At the opening session two of the senior members of the Congregation spoke: Father Tempier and Bishop Guibert.
Father Tempier opened the General Chapter by declaring his conviction regarding Eugene:
“This Venerable Man is no longer with us, but his spirit continues to live always in the heart of his children ….”
Bishop Guibert’s address echoed the same sentiments, speaking of the Oblate Congregation as our “mother”:
“Yes, our Father has died, but know that our Mother remains; and I regard her as being immortal; she will live by the spirit of her Founder.”
Joseph Fabre, who was elected to be Eugene’s successor, concluded the Chapter of 1861 by saying:
“I feel the assistance of our much loved Founder; he has not left us!
I was at his deathbed and said to him, “You will always be among us.” “Yes,” he replied, and he has kept his promise.
He remains among us through the Holy Rule which he had left us, and which is the expression of his love for God and the salvation of souls: it is the glorious testament of his enormous heart, and in observing it we will find all our strength.”