Eugene wrote to his mother on July 20, 1835 urging  her to join her daughter Eugenie at St-Martin and to take Eugenie’s children with her in order to stay safe from the cholera epidemic.  He also was considering what to do about the novices so as to keep them from being exposed to the epidemic.

 “I am worried about our novitiate. There is nothing more fitting than that all priests stay to carry out their ministry zealously even at the peril of their lives; but all those young men who are the hope of the Congregation that I founded with such difficulty, to what good is it to expose them without benefit for anyone? I am entertaining an idea which I wanted to tell you and receive your reaction before mentioning it to anyone else. What if I were to send them to St-Laurent. (85:XIII in Oblate Writings)

Here Eugene is very clearly fearing not only for his family but for the young men who are in the novitiate studying to become future Oblates.  He knows that they would most willingly serve fearlessly those who had fallen ill to the epidemic, not seeing the long picture and where they might be called to be.  So he mentions the possibility of them going to the de Mazenod summer house in St-Laurent for the duration of the epidemic where they would be safe from the scourge and continue with their formation.  Not wanting to put any pressure on his mother he will wait to hear her response.

Do I try to look “outside the box” to ease some difficulties?  When I come up with an idea do I run it past anyone else or enter into discernment of any sort?  Do I trust God to guide me?  Am I open to other and all possibilities?  How am I open to the ideas and suggestions of others?  What does my waiting look like?

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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