“Seeing the world through the eyes of Christ the Savior” Eugene and the Oblates had a special sensitivity and outreach for those who were not being adequately ministered to by the structures of the church. In some cases it was because of language in a church whose preaching and ceremonies were in Latin and French. The uneducated, and therefore usually poor, people who spoke only Provencal were on the fringes of ministry. In the seaport of Marseille, the numerous fishermen and their wives fitted into this category, as did the many Italian dockworkers. The love of the Oblates constantly responded to their needs at the Calvaire shrine in the city, and especially during the jubilee mission:
I have now spent two days almost entirely in the church which is full all the time. If there were ten of us to confess we would still be busy.
On Sunday, March 11th, we gave Benediction three times: in the morning after the instruction in Provençal, at half past ten for the departure of our missionaries of Roquevaire and again in the evening, at which time there were not enough seats.
There are lots of people every day and especially there are throngs of poor fishermen at the confessionals. Our ministry is thriving; all goes well ….
Letter to Marius Suzanne, 20 March 1827, EO VII n 268
“Who, being loved, is poor?” Oscar Wilde