On May 15, 1838 found St. Eugene de Mazenod wrote to Fr. Guigues who was at Notre Dame de l’Osier about Father Dupuy who was no longer an Oblate but who still had strong ties to Eugene and the congregation.

Dupuy is quite wrong in being angry, my dear child, he should not doubt either my affection or my gratitude. I think I have sufficiently proved on every occasion that I will not deviate from those sentiments to which he has a right such that no one in the Congregation can refuse to recognize. But then we do have to wait for the opportune moment in dealing with the things of this world; and must proprieties be neglected? It should have sufficed for Dupuy to know beyond a doubt that I was in the most definite disposition to do for him what my situation allows me to do. Any anxiety in this matter was a hidden offence about which he should reproach himself. It was however proper to let me be the judge both of what was possible and of the opportune moment. […]. When I speak of friends, I mean those who could be judges in this affair, and not certain lay people who have recourse only to their good heart when it concerns those to whom they are attached.” (662:IX in Oblate Writings)

Dear Eugene – I am reminded in this letter of how often I have looked at a situation through eyes that seem capable of only looking through my own needs and wants, through my own struggles and desires.  I do not always have the entire picture.  And I listen to those who I know would back me for have I not already filled them in, leading them in how they would think and then repeat what they had been filled with?  Oh the harm we can do to ourselves.

It reminds me yet again of my relationship with the Oblates.  I am not an Oblate no matter how much heart would wish otherwise.  I am neither clergy, nor ‘religious’ nor a man.  And yet I dare to say that it is with the Oblates that my heart has found a home.  I am a member of the family only because you invited me to stand with you and Tempier at the foot of the cross as you proceeded to make a case for what would grow to be a world-wide family.  I must always remember that I cannot speak for them or demand that they do certain things or be a certain way.  Add to this mix is my immense love for you and for your Oblates.  I walk sometimes a fine line.  Whether it is a line that I have drawn or one already there I am not sure and I don’t suppose it matters.  I cannot quit it for this is the path that my God has led me to, planted me on and walks along side of me.  As you would say dear Eugene – “what more glorious occupation than to…”

I note with joy your love and term of endearment for Father Guigues (my dear child.) My heart turns and beats a little more wildly when I listen to you speak as you do in your letters.  To love without embarrassment or shame – what a wondrous gift.  It is this that I learn from you.  What a gift you are.  I give thanks always to God for leading me to you, for inspiring you to invite me to walk with you.  I am blessed and for a moment I think of the ‘Magnificat’.  This is how you inspire me.  It is apt don’t you think?

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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