WE ARE DETERMINED TO BEGIN WITH THE VILLAGES

Eugene continues to show the direction of the decisions made regarding their choice of ministry. Forbin Janson had invited them to assist him in the preaching of two city missions. Eugene and the Missionaries refuse, seeing their calling towards the abandoned people in the villages of Provence.

It is interesting to note how many invitations the Missionaries were already receiving for parish missions within weeks of their coming into existence. The spiritual soil of France was arid, and the people longed for a sense of direction and nourishment.

I resume my letter for the hundredth time. Had I begun it six months ago, it would have been finished before you could complain. But enough said about that. You ask if we could do the missions of Arles and Toulon with you. I have proposed this to our little community but they do not think it possible.
First, because we have refused to put on a mission for two parish priests at Marseilles for the reason that we are determined to begin with the villages;
2’ because, after promising to go to Martigues, we drew back, partly on the same grounds and partly because of our fewness in number;
3’ because we have also put off to a remote date the mission they asked us to do at Brignoles;
finally, because we are engaged to work in villages for the whole mission season.

Letter to Forbin Janson, July-August, 1816, O.W. VI n. 13

 

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