Young Father Eugene Dorey had been appointed Master of Novices the day after his ordination to the priesthood. Eugene followed his progress closely and encouraged and guided him.

There you are, installed in your lovely task! What more beautiful ministry than that of forming in virtue, especially in the religious virtues, the chosen souls called by God to walk in the footsteps of the Apostles to spread the knowledge and the love of Jesus Christ! How much a person profits for oneself in leading others to perfection! This has turned out to be your lot. Rejoice over it, my son, and count on God’s help in this valuable ministry.

The time in the novitiate was important because it was here that the novices imbibed the Oblate charism as they prepared to become missionaries. It was here that they were evaluated as to their suitability and capability

You will have to give me an account each month of the conduct of your novices, each one by name. At the same time, you will give me your opinion on their dispositions, character, the hopes they give you, etc… You will receive those whom you judge, in agreement with the local Father Superior as inspiring some hope of becoming apt to the service that the Congregation has as mission to fill in the Church.

Letter to Fr Eugene Dorey, Novice Master in Nancy, 15 October 1858, EO X n 990


No matter our age or state of life, we all need ongoing spiritual formation and guides to accompany us to walk in the  footsteps of the apostles.

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.'” (Dan Rather)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate Associate says:

    St. Eugene speaks to all of us each morning, all we need do is to listen, reflect and look at how it applies to each of us, no matter our age, state of life, milieu or culture. (Ref R37a)

    Eugene is such a teacher who leads and guides each of us with love; beginning with his letter to Tempier, an invitation that is shared with each of us, according to our personal charisms, reminding us to look at Jesus on the cross – our Saviour, teacher and model.

    We all experience what it is to be novices, for that is a process which is simply a beginning in which the seed is planted within our hearts, and if we tend it with love, the help and guidance of others, we will eventually break through the ground of life and continue on throughout our entire lives. And while there are extraordinary people who love us and walk with us in a deeper way, there is a reciprocity of love and leadership between all of us. Again this morning I find myself singing: “we are companions on the journey, breaking bread and sharing life… (Carey Landry)

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