Bernard Vachon, an Oblate scholastic, had been ordained sub-deacon. This function no longer exists in the Church but, at that time, it was a definitive commitment to the clerical state towards ordination to the priesthood. Eugene was not present at the ordination, but congratulkate shim and reminds him that his commitment is like a marriage to the Church.

Although you did not announce to me, my dear friend, your nuptials with the Church, I shall not neglect to compliment you. Now you are a subdeacon, consecrated to God henceforth in a special manner; it is a great step that you have made: ad majora still [ed. as a step towards the greater ordination to priesthood]; I am quite vexed at not being able to attend the ceremony of this first consecration, I would have embraced you heartily but I have nonetheless not forgotten you for I did not fail to offer Mass for our ordinands and you have had a good share for alas! there were only two of you.
I hope to call you at the Feast of the Trinity for the diaconate and in September for the priesthood; arrange matters in consequence with the good God; become more and more virtuous and holy and do not forget me in your prayers to which I commend myself while embracing you with all my heart. Adieu.

 Letter to Bernard Vachon, 9 April 1824, EO VI n 134


When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we confess Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord: we are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.”   Pope Francis

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This coming weekend there will be a small directed (vocational) retreat taking place, for one young man and we must pray for both the person giving the retreat and for the person receiving the retreat. I thought of them as I read Eugene’s comment to Bernard Vachon about there being alas, only two of them. We must celebrate the one just as Eugene celebrated Bernard, celebrate as if there were many. It takes great courage to respond to God’s call.

    I love what Pope Francis has said about the cross and discipleship. I love his honesty and humility. I love the small flame of hope that his words give rise to and pray that he continue to be open, courageous and daring. I listen to him there speaking to his brothers and wonder if one day he, or another might also speak to his sisters. Perhaps this is part of the cross that we carry. I wonder what Eugene would say have to say to all of this? In the meantime how will I live out my commitment to discipleship?

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