Father Ricard had suffered from poor health in France, and those who knew him were surprised at the choice of this man for a physically challenging mission. Eugene, however, could not think of a better person to send to found the USA mission. He reflected in his personal diary:
Letter from Fr. Chauvet. He gives me an account of the health of Fr. Ricard. The doctor assures me that that all we have to do is raise his spirits and that the trip will do him good. Here we have the reassurance about the health of this dear Father in the necessity in which I find myself of entrusting to him the great mission of Oregon.
At this tremendous distance, a man is necessary on whom I can count for regularity, the upholding of the rule and the good direction of subjects whom I am in the process of entrusting to him. Of this calibre I have only Fr. Ricard available. This will be my justification to those who might be surprised by my choice of him.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 13 January 1847, EO XXI
Pascal Ricard’s character and missionary zeal led him to overcome his poor health and to be a dedicated and courageous missionary.
“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” (Billy Graham)
Dear God, teach me to be able to focus on what is important and eternal in my life today.
This entry was posted in WRITINGS
. Bookmark the permalink
I remember my friend Germaine who was born physically challenged: unable to walk, to hold many items, unable to speak using consonants or eat many of the foods in the same way that I could… She was unable to “do” many of things that you and I take for-granted. It was dear Germaine who showed me what “Joy” looked like – that was her gift from God to share – and we experienced it by “being together” as friends. Germaine died a few years ago but I can’t wait to meet up with her in heaven – both of us free to sing and dance in a new way!
Reading about Fr. Ricard in the Historical Dictionary I noticed not his state of his health but his willingness and capabilities to serve as he was called. Eugene called him his “alter ego” and I am reminded how each of us is called to be an “alter Christus”. Our attempts in life are not perfect, but with grace and mercy we manage to grow into becoming who God created us to be.
…focus on what is important and “eternal” in my life today.
Thanks for sharing, Frank. Much needed encouragement therein!