Two years later, Bishop Eugene wrote a Pastoral Letter to his diocese about the works of mercy that were active in his diocese. It shows an amazing grasp of the human needs of the second largest city of France, and of this Missionary Oblate’s response:

Marvel at how these good works are multiplying. So many new institutions with a previously unknown objectives! Childhood, old age, sickness, poverty, the worker who toils all day long, innocence in danger, the repugnant vice that inspires remorse, the imprisoned youth already initiated in the habits that make criminals, the great culprit seasoned in crime, even the rich man often so destitute before God on his deathbed.
Charity embraces everything; and for new needs, it invents, when necessary, new means: spiritual help, bodily help, bread for the soul, bread for the body; instruction for ignorance; advice, guidance, support for weakness; asylum for virtue or for penance; pious sentiments, sweet consolations, supernatural strength for the dying;

All kinds of good works are being generated in the name of Jesus Christ

Without speaking of the zeal and generosity of those pious associations of ladies who support our charitable establishments in our city of Marseilles, where they are distinguished by such a perfect spirit and by all the virtues of the Christian woman…

Bishop Eugene de Mazenod,  Pastoral Letter of 7 February 1847, Marseille

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Since the beginning of the pandemic we have had to discover new ways of communicating with each other and even serving each other. We use technology to help our healthcare workers meet with and asses our medical needs just as we use different forms of technology so that we can electronically gather from our homes fill some of our spiritual needs. This was how many of us setup and conducted the first part of our Synodal Journey throughout the world. We used technology that had been set up for business use but which worked well to fill some of our spiritual needs. And in it all we learned new ways to meet and share that which has been most sacred to us. We learned new ways of listening with our hearts.

    People dared and invited others who did not have access to technology to join them in their homes so as to be able to take part in and with in the new ways being demanded. And those sessions were rich and meaningful and people volunteered to help with the facilitation and capturing the essence of what was being shared so as to share it with their dioceses and archdioceses and further. And there was immense grace and love and service coming out of these new ventures.

    And just like before the pandemic, what we offered did not touch everyone for any number of reasons, so our online services also did not reach everyone. They were not perfect. And some of us mourned that we were not able to reach more. But we rejoiced as did Eugene in his pastoral letter of the good that was being done.

    It was not perfect 200 years ago any more than it is today. We have had to let go of some of our ways that we “used to do things” in order to be able to recognize new means and ways of living out our lives of service and discipleship just as they did in the past.

    It is in this way that ““All kinds of good works are being generated in the name of Jesus Christ.”

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