The time of enforced rest for Eugene was a time of blessing not only for him but for the future of the Missionaries as well. Being forced to stop and reflect, he was given the opportunity to clarify important issues regarding the spirit and mission of his foundation of Missionaries.
His friend Forbin Janson had founded the Missionaries of France to preach parish missions throughout the country, and was hoping that Eugene and his group would join him. In this letter to him, Eugene shows that the direction of the Missionaries of Provence has now become clear:
… Do not think I have disregarded the proposals you have repeatedly made to me on the subject of uniting our houses. I have, on the contrary, been quite busy taking them up with both our Grand Vicars and our members. The constant attitude of the former is that such a union would not be to the advantage of the diocese. My confreres share this feeling. They are concerned more with evangelizing poor people of the rural areas than city dwellers, and in this I agree with them. The need of the former is incomparably greater and the fruits of our ministry amongst them more assured.
… We are five in all, a number so inadequate for the work we have to do that we will infallibly succumb, myself especially for whom the time that we are not on missions is not a time of rest. Patience! Were I alone to perish…
Letter to Forbin Janson, July-August, 1816, O.W. VI n. 13