I was only twelve years old when God aroused in my heart the first and very efficacious desires to dedicate myself to the mission, to work for the salvation of souls.

Letter to Ambroise Tamburini, EO XI n 1292.

Bishop Jeancard wrote: “While he was still in Venice, shortly after his First Holy Communion, he used to read with avidity Les lettres édifiantes sur les missions de la Chine et du Japon [ed Edifying Letters on the Missions in China and Japan]. . He had a great desire of devoting himself one day to the conversion of the unbelievers.”   (Melanges p.68)

These letters were written by missionaries who were Jesuits, whom Bartolo Zoinelli dreamt of joining. The Jesuits had been disbanded in Europe at this time, and Bartolo and his brother were waiting for the Society to be re-established so as to join them. Inspired by Ignatius of Loyola, they would have communicated his spirit of “finding God in all things” to the impressionable young Eugene. Eugene became a life-long admirer of Ignatius and his methods. It was a heritage he would communicate to his Oblate family.


“God is not remote from us. God is at the point of my pen, my pick, my paintbrush, my needle — and my heart and my thoughts”   Teilhard de Chardin S.J.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    What a joy to be here this morning – “finding God in all things”. I wonder if there is a way that we become predisposed to experiencing joy? Truthfully – it seems always to be there, lingering, hiding, ready to appear in an instant with very little provocation.

    It appeared this morning as I read the title of today’s teaching; ‘inspired by a missionary who found God in all things’. Not an saccharine sweet joy, but rather a joy that is deep, full, permeating. It gives birth to a million thoughts, a million lens from which to see all that is… I did not always see in the light of God in all things but now when I allow myself to stop and be aware – of God – God is there. And I idly think that God is always there – here and all things are in God. We/I need only to stop, wait and be to experience this. It is a shadowing place with no real clear defines, but perhaps I will be able to experience this someday with a little more clarity…

    And learning! This morning I have learned a little about the spirit of another, St. Ignatius and of course Teilhard de Chardin’s quote touched me so greatly – “God is at the point of my pen, my pick, my paintbrush, my needle — and my heart and my thoughts.” Yes I want to shout, yes. I know what he means. I used to wonder what gifts God had given to me, but this moment I can say ‘yes’ and rejoice, give thanks for gratitude is always it would see the companion of joy, each a twin of the other.

    What a gift it is to learn, to be taught – there is a great freedom in being able to receive and share in that which is given by another. Learning blows away the little cobwebs of fear that come when we have to admit to ourselves that we don’t ‘know’ something, it opens the door.

    This journey that we are all on together, particularly in this place – this journey that Frank is leading us on to look at and discover our own spirituality and that has many little stones on the path. But rather than hesitate I find myself wanting to run along it for there is excitement in discovering who I am, and which comes from discovering who others are, all within a context of God.

    This morning my inspiration wears the mantle of joy. God in all – all in God.

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