Why did Eugene become a priest?

He replies over and over again with the same reply:

Pure love of the glory of God, the most ardent desire for the salvation of one’s neighbor, the needs of the abandoned Church, there you have the one and only reason for my entry into the clerical state.

Letter to his mother, 14 October 1811, EO XIV n 93

This three-fold ideal formed the basis of his priestly spirituality:

My desire is to win the glory of God and the salvation of the souls he ransomed with his blood, by every means in my power, should it cost me my life…

Retreat notes, July-August 1816, EO XV n 139

It was the threefold focus that became the focus of the missionaries to join him in 1816:

They must wholly renounce themselves, striving solely for the glory of God, the good of the Church, and the growth and salvation of souls.


Following our “map” (, it is here we find the first level of our Mazenodian spirituality. Through the eyes of the Crucified Savior the

spirit of being wholly devoted to the glory of God, the service of the Church and the salvation of souls, is the spirit that is proper to our Congregation,

Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 August 1817, EO VI n 21

All Mazenodian spirituality will be an expression, a development and living out of this focus.

focus pic

“Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.” – William Peterson

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Through the eyes of our Crucified Saviour! That has been the only way, to see as Jesus on the Cross sees – there is such transformation in this – it is not what I have done, but what has been done to unto me. OMG! It is out of this reflection that I find myself wanting to Praise God – I think that it is somehow a part of my DNA – to sing to God, to sing of God, to praise him for all of life. Imagine – that is what gives me joy – to shout out before others to ‘look at my God, see my God, listen to his voice. To praise and give thanks to him – all the days of my life. Last night after my friend had made her commitment as an Oblate Associate two of her friends told me that even though she did not realise and recognize it – she at one point began to be full of joy – she was always smiling. She did not see it, but others did. She was praising God, giving glory to God. I myself was not always full of joy and laughter and yet now if I am not smiling one of my brothers will immediately ask if I am okay (inside and out).

    The service of the Church. Nothing quite so grand as Eugene. But I say. But. How do I serve my Church – in many little ways and big. I do not forsake her even when it hurts to be a part of her. I do for her the little things that make it possible for others to come in and celebrate. One very small corner of the world, of the church, bringing a light to those who would serve her. It is not as meek as it sounds for I state my presence and stand root there where I have been planted – a fierce fire inside that will not be blown out by differences or struggles.

    Salvation of the most abandoned. Quite specific and yet I see so many who feel abandoned, by God, by their families, communities, churches, governments. Their hearts are full of empty spaces just waiting to be filled. They wait to be acknowledged, accepted, listened to, walked with. They are all saved, but they are quite unable to realise it for any number of reasons. This all-consuming fire of love that I have been filled with – and the need to share it with all that I meet. I think of Jesus on the Cross and how he felt all abandoned. He wasn’t but he felt that. I was never abandoned by God and yet for the first 30 years of my life I believed so utterly and totally that I was. (Perhaps that is why I recognize that hopelessness and death in others).

    That it should be Eugene and his Oblates who have shown me all of this; who have formed me and reminded me, guided me and shown me how I too am sent. I look at all of this and see how it really is foundational – at least for me. What incredible joy and gratitude fills my being with this recognition.

    This morning as I cry out to God to see who I have become in him. This morning as he responds and tells me to see through his eyes at who I am to him. The joy and the gratitude are so great that I can barely contain myself. Again this morning I begin my day in song; My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exalts in God my Savior; for he has looked with mercy on my lowliness, and my name will be forever exalted.

  2. franksantucci says:

    “Through the eyes of the Crucified Savior, I see Love.”
    An Italian lay associate, who is extremely seriously ill, sent me this powerful message today:
    “I look at Jesus: I see happiness;
    I look at myself: I see fragility;
    I look at myself through the look of Jesus (Through the eyes of the Crucified Savior): I see Love.”
    The original version is:
    Guardo Gesù: vedo la felicità; guardo me: vedo la fragilità; guardo me con lo sguardo di Gesù (Through the eyes of the Crucified Savior): vedo l’Amore.

  3. ANDA says:


  4. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I agree Anda. Incredibly beautiful and to be able to express it thus. Wow.

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