People began to congratulate Eugene on his appointment as Bishop of Marseilles. To his Oblate brothers, Eugene confided his true sentiments.

My dear Courtès, it is a consolation for me, in my disappointment to see you pleased and satisfied at the trick my Uncle has just played on me. My plan was quite different, it was more to my taste, to my inclination, I like to believe that it offered less advantages to the Congregation.
We must not think of it any more. God seems to have given the verdict, my duty will be to do my best in the new position where his Providence is placing me.
I have always feared pastoral responsibility. It weighs very heavily on me. As long as work was only a burden, I carried it willingly; in the future, it will not be so. I shall narrate to you how all this happened, when we meet next.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 16 April 1837, EO IX n 612

To his medical doctor, to whom he was very close, he wrote: 

One day I will tell you just how my good and venerable uncle played this trick on me. He has never been so gleeful as since he pulled this off, he laughs, sings, he is almost tempted to boast about it, I am the only one put out in this whole affair in which someone has been dealing under the table!

Letter to Doctor M. d’Astros, 16 April 1837, EO XV n 183

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    It is late in the day. I spent my afternoon and evening with some of my Beloved Oblates – helping them decorate for Christmas and then after dinner having the joy in joining them for Evening Prayer. A day of community.

    But I had missed my time with Eugene this morning and so, late as it is to sit with him, I do it now.

    There is a joy within me as I hear Eugene write with such honesty – not playing down the trick that Fortuné played on him but also his desire to steer clear of such pastoral responsibility. It is his honesty that touches me most deeply – he is not boasting of his weakness, simply stating it which he can do freely now that he has accepted what God calls him to; “my duty will be to do my best in the new position where his Providence is placing me.” His ‘fiat’.

    This as we sit in Advent – waiting, preparing… this is a part of our ‘fiat’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *