IT IS AN INFINITELY DIFFICULT MISSION FOR SEVERAL REASONS
Leflon writes, ‘‘There can be no doubt that once again, and with very sure insight, Bishop de Mazenod had looked far beyond the feasibility of the present to envision the realizations of the future. It does not seem so certain, however, that he had a clear appreciation of the odd and complicated situation which existed in what the first Oblate superior would soon call a ‘strange country’ and which would discourage his sons as well as himself…” (Volume 4 p 167)
In view of the expected difficulties, Fr. Semeria was chosen as the superior of the four Oblates destined for Ceylon. He was the highly-respected rector of the major seminary in Ajaccio, and his departure was a blow to the Bishop. Eugene wrote to him to justify his choice:
“It is an infinitely difficult mission for several reasons, and I needed a proven man like Fr. Semeria to entrust it to for my own peace of mind. This is the sacrifice that God has asked of us, and I had to make it with joy in firm confidence regarding the great good that will result from it; the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda calls the help that it has asked from us “opportunissimo et necessario”. I have every reason to think that Fr. Rolleri, who will replace him at Vico, will do good work.
Letter to Bishop Casanelli d’lstria of Ajaccio, 7 October 1847, EO IV page XXIV
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” (C.T. Studd)
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