Eugene quoted part of a letter that he had received. In it Father Courtès made a very important statement about the “spirit” of the missionary family that had come into existence through Eugene de Mazenod who was always regarded as “our founder and our father.”
October 21: [Extract from a letter from Fr. Courtès]: It is desirable that you have the novitiate close to you, because, however excellent the director may be, it is permissible to think that the locality is not immaterial to the spirit which may animate the family which one is raising. And the good spirit, the principal spirit, is that which we receive from you who lead us to serve the Church, such as it now is, with modesty and with benefit, aiding one another like brothers, without distinction as to country and as to province, and drawing our strength of wisdom and leadership from the one who is our founder and our father.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 21 October 1842, EO XXI