In recent entries we have focused on the Canadian mission, but the missionary thrust was taking place in England and Ireland simultaneously. (See the entries starting from http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=4584).
Father Yvon Beaudoin fills in the details for us:
In all of the historical sources relative to the Anglo-Irish province, Father Casimir Aubert is always referred to as the founder of this Oblate apostolic field.
In 1837-1838 at the novitiate, he had received a young Irishman, William Daly, who followed the theology course along with the scholastics at the seminary in Marseilles and was ordained to the priesthood on May 2, 1841.
During May, a few months before the decision to accept missions in Canada, an opportunity arose to send Father Daly to England to examine at first hand the possibility of a foundation. “The purpose of this trip,” Bishop de Mazenod explained in his diary on July 15 and 16, 1841, “is to examine on the spot how a foundation of missionaries of our Congregation could be made …”
Eugene’s dream was to recruit English-speaking vocations to be able to end as missionaries to Canada and other countries where English was spoken.
If he had already determined a vast apostolic program from the future establishment, the Founder hoped to obtain vocations in Ireland. Father Daly must have received precise orders in this sense. He preached in several London churches, at Oscott seminary near Birmingham, then set out for Ireland where he met the bishops gathered together at the Maynooth seminary. He received permission to recruit and at the end of 1841 he sent to Marseilles seven postulants entrusted for the time being to Father Aubert; he expressed hope that a foundation would not present any problems.
Bishop de Mazenod understood that he had to profit from this moment of grace and send, as soon as possible, a trusted man who knew English well. The choice was easy to make since Father Aubert alone fulfilled these conditions … He left Marseilles in mid-July 1842.
Father Aubert was thinking of opening a formation house there but was soon disillusioned on that score. The bishops would not permit it. Nevertheless, he found a teaching position at St. Mary’s College of Youghal, an institution destined to supply personnel for the missions.