(I wrote this a week ago today, before heading out to the funeral of a beloved friend who was an Oblate.)
Eugene prepares to return to Marseilles for his Episcopal Ordination as Bishop of Marseilles. He writes to Henri Tempier to prepare specific items that he will be needing.
“ I advise you not to lose the ring while bringing it to me. For greater safety it would be better to take the one from Rome which is in a small box kept in one of the small drawers on the right in my small writing-table. Do not forget the crosier, we have the key of the case here. I also brought the Missae Pontificales and a Pontifical and everything else I need.” (620:IX in Oblate Writings May 19, 1837, Letter To Father Tempier, Vicar General, at Marseilles)
Again a letter that is all about business as usual – including the preparations to ordain the Capuchin deacon, Brother Leon. It has given me a little bit of insight about being the Bishop and carrying what is needed. I suppose no different from what I need to prepare for our liturgies – do we have all that we need. And how we prepare when we set off for a community retreat, taking with us all that we will need including albs and stoles for the priests, missals, etc.
For some reason this morning this brings me a little closer to understanding and loving a bishop as a bishop (without trying to find something wrong with his expressions of piety etc). It is fitting is it not, that today I prepare to go to bury Eugene’s son, Archbishop Peter Alfred Sutton, OMI who I only knew for a brief period of his life.
We shall meet dear Peter in prayer as you said – as I believe you are now hanging around my dear friend and yours, Eugene. Home at last!
One day it will be my turn, though probably not for a while yet, but I look forward to meeting and being with all of you – Jesus, my most beloved, and all of my beloved Oblates.
(I knew this would creep in somewhere into my prayer life today but didn’t really know how. Here it is and I do not regret it for it fills my being for now.)