The Oblates were primarily preachers of the Gospel, a reality that necessitated well-prepared texts. Writing to the superior of the first Oblate community in Canada, Eugene underlined the importance of good preparation.
Let the youngest amongst you be put to composing a certain number of sermons. I insist that this be stipulated.
Father Telmon was a talented and creative preacher and would be a good mentor for the younger ones.
Father Telmon will be good enough to direct and correct these compositions, this being a duty of charity as much as obedience. He will do well for his own sake to increase his own repertoire. Let him be mindful that there will come a time when the imagination will grow cold and then he will be happy to find in his texts the spirit of his early years. I have long been imploring him to do this work.
Eugene’s realistic warning applies to the whole group.
I shall not rest until I see all of our missionaries who have to announce the Word of God in possession of a complete course of sermons and instructions for retreats and missions. Hold strongly to this point which is essential to the success of your ministry.
Letter to Fr. Jean Baptiste Honorat, 26 March 1842, EO I n 10