Dictionary of Oblate Values  vol.: 1  let.: C

COMMUNITY

THE FOUNDER AND APOSTOLIC COMMUNITY

From the time of his ordination in 1811 Father de Mazenod did not want ecclesiastical honours or a parish, but wanted to give himself to the service of the poor and of the youth in Aix en Provence. For three years he performed an individual apostolate, concentrating on those who were not being touched by the conventional parish ministry: those who spoke Provençal, the domestic servants, the youth and prisoners. In addition he was a spiritual director at the seminary of Aix. This full programme was brought to a stop when he contracted typhus in 1814 and was dangerously ill. On his recovery he became aware that the needs of the poor were so great that he could not cope alone in this manner any longer and that he needed to find a personal equilibrium.

Faced with two choices: either to enter a well-regulated community, or to bring into existence a missionary group [1], he chose the latter option, while incorporating a strong element of the former [2]. From the beginning the plan to preach to the poor of Provence involved a community of priests who would live together in the same house, and would be held together by a rule and a regular lifestyle [3].

THE "FOUNDING VISION" (1816 - 1818)

Father de Mazenod does not take the credit for being the founder of the missionary community: the founder is Jesus Christ himself [4]. It is Jesus who guided and led him in a certain direction. That direction is charted in his writings from 1814 to 1818, from the time that he first speaks about his ideal until it is "codified" in the Rule of 1818.

a. What form does this community take?

- An apostolic missionary community which aims at the sanctification of its members


A group of diocesan priests living together in the same house, and who strive to imitate the virtues and examples of Jesus Christ [5]. The form of the community is that of Jesus and his apostles, who were schooled in his teaching so that they could be sent forth to conquer the world [6].

The community is centered on Jesus, in which all the members are like the apostles around Jesus: "It has already been said that the missionaries ought, as far as human nature allows, to imitate in everything the example of Christ our Lord, the chief Founder of our Congregation, and that of the holy Apostles, our first Fathers. Following in their footsteps, the missionaries will give one portion of their life to prayer, recollection, and contemplation, while living together in the seclusion of God's house" [7].

The Founder is clear that the first aspect of community is all about relationship with Jesus, about sanctification of the missionary: "we will become saints in our Congregation, free but united by bonds of the most tender charity" [8]. It is not an individual task, but "we will help each other mutually with advice and with all that the good God will inspire in each of us for our common sanctification" [9].

Sanctification is not an end in itself, but is essential so that the missionary may sanctify others: "The missionaries will be grouped in such a way that while some of them will strive within the community to acquire the virtues and the knowledge suitable for good missionaries, others will travel through the country-sides preaching the Word of God" [10]. While not preaching and being in the community they will "prepare themselves through meditation and study to make their ministry even more fruitful when they are called to new missions" [11]. Sanctity is thus essential for the mission of the community.

- Community comes into existence as the result of mission, and for the purpose of mission.

In the Petition addressed to the Capitular Vicars-General of Aix on January 25, 1816 the ideal of community is present from the beginning. They are to live together in order to grow into perfection, and they want from this the same advantages that they would have had had they joined a religious order (of which community is an integral part). The aim of the community is personal sanctification as well as being more useful in the diocese.

The Rule of 1818 states: "The other portion of their life they will zealously devote to the works of the ministry, namely, to missions, preaching, the hearing of confessions, catechizing, directing the young, visiting the sick and prisoners, giving retreats, and other works of this kind" [12].

The two-fold division of their labors in community: a part of the year being spent on each, are meant to be a tangible expression of community. In other words, the community does not exist for its own sake, but for the sake of the apostolate: personal sanctification and ministry are totally tied up, and there is no dichotomy here, only two expressions of the same reality. Fr. Beaudoin makes this relationship between community and mission clear when he speaks of the Rule of 1818: "If we examine these articles of the Rule in the light of the Founder's letters, the importance of community is beyond any shade of doubt. Oblates seek sanctity together, pray together, do the work of evangelization together. The whole second part of the Rule makes explicit the communitarian striving towards perfection so that the ministry, which also is carried out in community, should, by the blessing of God, become fruitful. In the sixth paragraph which treats of the various ministries, the Divine Office which all the Oblates must recite in common is even presented in this light: 'The Institute considers this exercise as the source of all blessings which are to be poured over the entire holy ministry in the length and breadth of the Society'." [13]

b. Characteristics of community which are essential to its mission

In order for the community to achieve its twofold function it has to have certain characteristics, which Father de Mazenod spells out in the Rule: "Whether out on missions or at home, their chief concern will always be to make progress in the way of ecclesiastical and religious perfection. They will cultivate especially the virtues of humility, obedience, poverty, self-denial, the spirit of mortification, the spirit of faith, purity of intention and so forth. In a word, they will strive to become another Jesus Christ, spreading abroad everywhere the fragrance of his amiable virtues" [14].

Here emerged the characteristics of community on which the Founder himself was going to lay constant emphasis for the rest of his life: united by the bonds of charity, and of one heart and one soul, living a life of regularity, in obedience to the Rule and the Superior, - all this so as to be apostolic missionaries to evangelise the poor.

Thirty two years later, in 1850, Bishop de Mazenod was still as definite in his vision when he wrote to the whole Congregation: "Mindful of these words, (which marvellously sum up our entire Rule), 'all united in the bonds of the most intimate charity under the direction of the superiors', may they form but one heart and one soul" [15].

THE VISION BECOMES THE RULE OF LIFE (1818 - 1861)

Originally Father de Mazenod intended to have only one community, but the request to take on the apostolate of Notre Dame du Laus, effectively ended this idea. From now on it became essential to maintain one community spirit among all the communities, thus necessitating a Rule [16]. The first Rule of 1818 was rewritten and presented to the Pope, receiving his approbation in 1826 [17]. Of the 1826 text, Father Santolini comments:

"Of the 798 articles, the community is explicitly or implicitly mentioned in more than 120. This is a sign of the Founder's and the Oblates' concern to put community as the basis for the apostolic life. If we were to sum up this thought, we could say that he wanted to create within the Congregation an acute sense of family life as well as a fierce determination to maintain it at all costs against any outside interference. [18]"

a. The characteristics of apostolic community

- United in the bonds of charity.


a. We form a family. "We form a family, of which all who compose it wish only to have one heart and one soul" - here is the kernel of community for the Founder [19], a concept which he comes back to again and again [20]. He defines unity as "that cordiality, that fusion, ... which ought to exist amongst all the members of our Society which ought to have but one heart and one soul" [21]. In one of his early letters to Father Tempier, he exclaims, "Between us missionaries ... we are what we ought to be, that is to say, we have but one heart, one soul, one thought. It is admirable! Our consolations, like our hardships are unequalled [22]. In an atmosphere of mutual support, all difficulties are surmountable, even if the members are dispersed [23].

The community of the Congregation makes its members one family, even if they do not know each other, as Bishop de Mazenod says to a newly-professed Oblate: "I do not know you personally... we are united in the most intimate bonds of charity and that I am a bound to you forever as you are to me" [24]. The novice master is urged by the Founder to ensure that "they must find with us a true family, brothers and a father" [25].

b. Centered around the presence of Jesus. Unity attunes the members of the community to the will of God [26]. It is the presence of Jesus who ensures unity. For Saint Eugene he is "our common love" [27], "our common Master" [28], and the Oblates are urged to "gather closely around this good Saviour who has made his home amongst you" [29]. At a moment of separation from the Oblates, he remembers them during the Mass and describes the role of Jesus in the community: "We should often come together like this in Jesus Christ, our common centre where all our hearts become as one and our affections are brought to fulfilment" [30].

During oraison the Oblates are united with each other, despite the distance which separates them: "This is the only way of reducing distances, to be at the same moment in our Lord's presence, it is so to speak like being side by side. We do not see each other, but we sense each other's presence, hear each other, lose ourselves in one and the same central point" [31].

Praying also leads to a unity in community: "Everyone must know by heart the prayers recited in the Congregation, and especially those recited after particular examen as I strongly insist that we never leave them out wherever it may be that we find ourselves, whether travelling or whatever. That form of prayer, including the litanies, is special to our Congregation, they are distinctive and like a bond, a unity between all the members of the family" [32].

Writing to the community at Vico, Saint Eugene exclaims, "You have earned all the love I have for you; you form only one person among yourselves. you form only one person with me. That is what the Lord demands of us since he is the principle and the bond of our union" [33].

c. Aims to sanctify its members. The community is a vehicle used by God for the sanctification of its members if they avail themselves of "the means of salvation that his mercy provided in our holy house, in the midst of such good brothers as yourselves" [34]. It is a communal task: "We are put on earth, particularly those of our house, to sanctify ourselves while helping each other by our example, our words and our prayers" [35].

d. Charity is its pivot. The community is to live by the spirit proper to the Oblates, based on charity as its pivot: "Just as we have in a Society a common dress, common Rules, so must there be a common spirit which vivifies this particular body... Charity is the pivot on which our whole existence turns. ... Charity for our neighbour is again an essential part of our spirit. We practice it first amongst us by loving each other as brothers, by considering our Society only as the most united family which exists on the earth, by rejoicing over the virtues, the talents and other qualities that our brothers possess just as much as if we possessed them ourselves, in bearing with mildness the little faults that some have not yet overcome, covering them over with the mantle of the most sincere charity" [36].

"The utmost in the way of fraternal charity are also necessary for the good order and the happiness of a Society" [37]. In a practical manner, charity is expressed as, "take care of each other and let each look after the health of all" [38]. When there are difficulties between members of the community, "let holy charity consume all our squabbles in the melting-pot of religion" [39].

In the face of difficulties which threaten the whole Congregation, it is in charity that they can resist: "Let us be united in the love of Jesus Christ, in our common perfection, let us love each other as we have done up to now, let us, in a word, be at one while they die of vexation and rage" [40].

e. The whole community is always missionary. The letters which the Founder writes to the missionaries and from the missions are a tangible means of creating one heart and one soul in the community - sharing details of how things were going, and also praying for each other. "I have no need to tell you how much I bless the Lord for all he is doing through your ministry; we are all in transports of joy, as if this were new to us. I have read our fathers' letter to the community" [41]. This is a concrete sign of what it means that the community is apostolic and that all are missionaries, because those who stay at home are praying for the workers, and studying to prepare themselves in turn for their own preaching when their turn comes: "If you do not pray for us, we are in a bad fix" [42].

The community is missionary in the example it gives to outsiders. Speaking of the ministry of the community of Notre Dame de l'Osier to priests: "People vie with one another in their admiration for the regularity, good order, piety that reign in the house... They find edification in everything: the silence that reigns in the house. the punctuality at all the exercises, the office, the small refectory penances. So be always what you ought to be and never let the presence of strangers bring you to make changes in anything whether it be in the Rule or in our customs. If one can find in your house no more than a group of priests living under the same roof, as pastors from the surrounding neighbourhood might do you will be guilty-before me before the Congregation and before God; and the people for whose sake you surrendered your Oblate way of life will go away but little edified and certainly deceived in their expectations. And so I recommend you to be quite rigid on all of this. I want none of your expediency or human respect. Everyone knows who you are so be worthy of your vocation and strive to accept its every least demand [43].

The abilities of the individual are there for the good of the community and its mission: "The Good Lord did not give you your talents for your own use only; but in calling you to the Congregation. he wished you to use these talents for the good of the whole family" [44].

f. Community life is not to be sacrificed to the mission.The Founder is practical when he observes that the greater portion of the life of an Oblate is spent in work outside of the community. He writes, "Let us rather feel sorry that the duties laid on us by charity remove us so frequently, and for such long periods, from the community in which regular discipline reigns, and for a great part of our life deprive us, to our regret, of its wholesome influence" [45].

The zeal of the missionaries, however, is to be seen in the context of the community: "But beware of driving yourself as if it were a challenge. In God's name, go back to the bosom of the community to renew yourselves in the spirit of your vocation. otherwise it is all up with our missionaries. they will soon be no more than sounding cymbals" [46].

It is interesting to note that the needs of the community have to be taken into account when arranging the public prayers at N.D. du Laus: "The evening oraison ought always to take place at half past seven, during the half hour which precedes supper. In order not to deprive him who conducts the evening prayers from the entire oraison of the community, when the oraison coincides with the time of the other, see to it that this prayer does not last more than a quarter of an hour. In no instance must it go beyond twenty minutes, but let it not go over a quarter of an hour when the times of the two exercises coincide. As the community must make its oraison before the Blessed Sacrament and you do not have the holy Eucharist in your interior chapel, the one who takes the evening prayer for the faithful must do so in a very moderate voice so as not to disturb the community" [47].

In the works undertaken in France, Eugene always insisted on a minimum of two Oblates working together. When a work was undertaken which did not fulfil this condition, Bishop de Mazenod was determined that it not be continued, as is seen in Limoges: "I have written to his Lordship the Bishop of Limoges; it was a measured letter to make him understand that it is impossible to continue a service which takes our missionaries away from their vocation. Living in community is essential to their style of life. I explain the situation to him by quoting from the very text of our Rules" [48].

When the Oblates began to go to the foreign missions, it was not always so simple to have the men living together in community. Despite the difficulty he always insists: "It is essential that you should continue to demand that you be left in pairs. If there is only enough for one you must share what there is, but I can never agree that a subject be alone without at least one companion" [49].

In 1853, the thinking of the Founder and of the Congregation was set down in the Instruction on the Foreign Missions: "To whatsoever Missions in foreign countries they may have been sent, our Fathers will always bear in mind that they must be inflamed with a desire of perfection so much the more ardent the longer they are separated against their will, from the company of their brethren, and that they must be faithful to the duties of their religious state and to the exercises of christian piety with a will so much the more determined, the more frequently they are deprived of the benefits of community life" [50].

g. The Oblates must love their community and find happiness in it. The Oblates must love their community: "One must moreover be greatly attached to the house. he who only looks on it as a hotel where he only passes through would do no good therein. One must be able to say like St. Thomas: haec requies mea for the whole of one's life. I see that communities where this spirit reigns the most are those which do the most good and where one lives the most happily. May God give us the grace to be imbued with this truth and let us neglect nothing to instil it in our young people" [51].

It is in the community that they are expected to find happiness "within the confines of our houses" [52]. Community provides "all that is needed to live happily" [53]. "Live happily my dear children in your precious community. You would not imagine the happiness I experience when I hear about the unity and cordiality that reigns among you" [54].

In his advice to Fr. Mille on formation, the Founder emphasizes that the young people in formation must love the family - hence the foundation of community is this: "It is a question of giving them a formation, of passing on to them our spirit, of inspiring in them that love of the family without which they will not achieve anything of value" [55].

It is in the community itself that relaxation is to take place: "it is not fitting to go outside our own houses for distractions or for rest" [56].

h. Makes up for the weaknesses of its members. Despite Saint Eugene's idealism and initial enthusiasm for the joys of community life, experience taught him "that even the holiest and most fervent of communities are not exempt from some kinds of affliction" [57].In this light, he says of the behaviour expected of the members: "the community needs from those who form it that they do not give her the distasteful spectacle of an acute disorder, of an insulting disdain, of a disedifying irregularity, or a scandalous desertion, all of which trouble her tranquillity, her peace, her happiness, and even compromise her existence" [58]. Eugene is aware that the community reflects something of the weaknesses of its apostolic model when he says, "The Lord. our divine model had many griefs from his well-loved apostles who were so often intolerable and bothersome" [59].

It is mutual support which makes up for the weaknesses of its members, starting with Eugene himself: "I feel fortunate amongst my brothers, amongst my children, because in the absence of virtues which are proper and personal to me, I am proud of their works and their holiness" [60].To two members who left the Congregation, he made the same point: "You would always find therein the help that was indispensable to the feebleness of your learning, to the nullity of your knowledge" [61].

Community provides the opportunity for fraternal correction "which ensures your progress and preserves you from the error of illusion" [62], something which de Mazenod often practised in his own correspondence. In our fraternal correction "may the charity of Jesus Christ inspire us, without it we run the risk of becoming mere Pharisees, well able to see the speck of dust in our brothers' eyes but unable to see the beam which afflicts our own" [63].

Community enables its members to bear difficulties: "so that we may help each other mutually to bear a misfortune which is common to us, since it weighs on the Society" [64].

The members of the community are urged to pray for each other as Eugene himself does at oraison each day for each of them. During the many cholera epidemics in Marseilles, he writes asking the communities to pray for the safety of those who are exposed to infection in their work with the sick [65].

i. Sickness and health. On the question of the health of the members of the community, Eugene is insistent in many of his letters that the men look after their health. "I call attention to your health and to that of the whole dear family" [66]. During their pastoral work rest is essential: "I absolutely insist that you rest and that you study; one must know when it is time to close one's door", he wrote to Father Jean-Baptiste Honorat [67]. The community must provide the atmosphere for this: "The missionaries need prolonged rest for the body and interior tranquillity in their holy house for the spirit and the soul. One must observe our Rules on that point as on all the others. Be of a common accord in establishing perfect regularity in your house" [68].

When it comes to sickness and preparing the members for death, he is clear about the role and attitude of the community: "I need not tell you with what care and charity you must treat him. Even if we have to sell things down to our shoes, let nothing be spared to comfort him; if his relatives were to propose that they take him home, do not consent; it is amongst his brothers that he ought to find all the services his condition demands, day and night, spiritual as well as temporal [69].

And again, writing to Father Courtès: "I am not in favour that we send away from our communities our sick when they are in danger of death. They have the right to a care of the best order and the consolation of dying in the arms of their brothers is certainly something for a good religious who knows the value of supernatural aids [70].

j. The heavenly Oblate community. Those who have died form the heavenly Oblate community: "Now we have four in Heaven; this is already a nice community. They are the first stones, the foundation stones of the edifice which must be built in the celestial Jerusalem; they are before God with the sign, the kind of character proper to our Society, the common vows of all her members, the practice of the same virtues. We are attached to them by the bonds of a particular charity, they are still our brothers, and we are theirs; they dwell in our motherhouse, our headquarters; their prayers, the love which they keep for us, will draw us one day to them so as to dwell with them in the place of our rest" [71].

k. Sacredness of the bonds which link the members. The reaction of Eugene de Mazenod to those who leave the community highlights the binding force of the commitment to the Oblate community, while at the same time giving them the attitude they should have regarding those who leave: "These profanations and perjuries provoke horror; they scandalise the Church and outrage God, hence I cite all these profanators before the judgement of God who will punish them for having dealt so basely with him. I bless you, you and all who are faithful to their vows and their oaths. We will never be able to do enough to make reparation by unlimited devotedness on our part, even unto the sacrifice of our lives in order to make up for sacrileges springing, so to speak, from our midst, and committed by those whom we have called our brothers [72].

To leave the Congregation is to cut oneself off "from the family which had adopted you" [73].

- United in Obedience

In his Mémoires, the Founder recalls the circumstances which necessitated the Rule of 1818: "I wanted to convince them that if we were to answer the call to another diocese to establish a new foundation, we should have to broaden the Rule we were following, draw up more extensive Constitutions, tighten our bonds and establish a system that we should have but one mind and one code of action" [74].

The Founder is unyielding on the point of obedience, but not for the sake of obedience itself, but for the purpose of maintaining one heart and one soul. "Regard the Rule as our code, the superiors as God, our brothers like our other selves" [75].

a. Regularity: fidelity in shaping one's life according to the Rule.

A characteristic feature of the Oblate community is its adherence to the Rule and its spirit of regularity. "We live in community under a mild Rule which fixes our duties and gives a very great value to the least of our actions. the spirit of charity and of the most perfect brotherhood reigns amongst us" [76]. In order to insure that the community was what it was meant to be, the Founder constantly insisted on regularity, especially in his letters to the local superiors. He defines regularity as, "fidelity in shaping one's life according to the spirit and the letter of the Rule" [77].

To Fr. Tempier, the newly appointed Superior of Laus, the second community of the Congregation, he exhorts, "Maintain in everything a most exact discipline; you are beginning to form a community in regularity, do not let abuses creep in" [78]. To Father Courtès and the community of Aix he explains the spirit and purpose of regularity: "Love one another. Let all agree in maintaining good order and discipline by fidelity to the Rule, obedience, abnegation and humility. The Church expects you all to be a powerful aid in her distress; but be well persuaded that you will only be good enough to achieve something inasmuch as you advance in the practice of religious virtues" [79].

The regularity of the community is reflected in its mission: "Let it be demonstrated that, when a religious has to devote himself to external ministry, the habitual regularity that he should have acquired in the bosom of the community is a source of abundant graces and help, so that he isn't found wanting and doesn't disappoint the faithful's expectations [80].

b. The Superior.

The role of the Superior in the community is paramount. It is his role to ensure that the Rule and its preions are lived, that the internal life of the community unfolds ("Charity, charity, charity"), and that the community fulfils its mission ("Zeal for the salvation of souls"). The Founder's exhortation to Father Guigues on becoming a superior is echoed throughout his life to all Oblate superiors: "Let the introduction of the least abuse be anathema to you. God would call you to account for it. For it is you who are to build the foundations of the new community. And it is vital that it diffuse abroad the good odour of Jesus Christ" [81].


[1] See the October 28, 1814 letter to Abbé Charles de Forbin-Janson in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 2 p. 2-4.
[2] In his article, "Communauté et mission d'après Mgr de Mazenod et chez les premières générations d'Oblats en Europe", Father Yvon Beaudoin makes an analysis of the Founder's writings that deal with the foundation of the Missionaries of Provence in Vie Oblate Life, 49 (1990), p. E. 179-181.
[3] Ibidem.
[4] Constitutions and Rules of the Missionaries of Provence, Part One, Chapter One, par. 3, Nota bene, in Missions, 78 (1951), p. 15.
[5] Ibidem, par. 1, art.1, p. 13.
[6] Ibidem, Nota bene, p. 17.
[7] Ibidem, Part Two, Chapter One, Of the other principal observances, p. 54-55.
[8] Letter of 1815 to Abbé Hilaire Aubert in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 3 p. 5.
[9] December 13, 1815 letter to Abbé Henry Tempier in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 7, p.14.
[10] Petition addressed to the Vicars General of Aix, January 25, 1816 in Oblate Writings I, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 3
[11] Ibidem.
[12] CC and RR of 1818, Part Two, Chapter One, Of the other principal observances in Missions, 78 (1951), p. 55.
[13] In "Communauté et mission d'après Mgr de Mazenod et chez les premières générations d'Oblates en Europe", in Vie Oblate Life, 49 (1990), p. F 184.
[14] CC and RR of 1818, Part Two, Chapter One, Of the other principal observances in Missions, 78 (1951) p. 55.
[15] Letter of convocation of the 1850 General Chapter, March 19, 1850, quoted in the 1982 CC and RR, p. 141, Latin text in Circ. adm., I (1850-1885) and PIELORZ, Józef, Les chapitres généraux au temps du Fondateur, I, Ottawa, Oblate Studies Edition, 1968, p. 251.
[16] CC and RR of 1818 in Missions, 78 (1951), p. 9-97.
[17] Idem, ibidem for the first official Latin text.
[18] "La mission en communauté apostolique selon nos Constitutions et Règles", in Vie Oblate Life, 49 (1990), p. E 201-300.
[19] January 20, 1823 letter from Eugene de Mazenod to Hippolyte Guibert in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 9l, p. 101.
[20] See, for example, the letters to Father Tempier, February 24, 1816 in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 10, p. 18; to Father Courtès, January 7, 1832 in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 413, p. 51; to Father Faraud, May 10, 1848 in Oblate Writings I, vol. 1, no. 95, p. 193.
[21] Letter to Father Hippolyte Courtès, November 8, 1821 in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 74, p. 86.
[22] February 24, 1816 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 10, p. 18.
[23] October 29, 1823 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 117, p. 125.
[24] August 18, 1843 letter to scholastic brother Charles Baret in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 811, p. 27.
[25] July-August, 1848 letter to Father Louis-Toussaint Dassy in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 983, p. 230.
[26] See May 2, 1823 letter from the Founder to Father Andre Sumien in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 103, p. 113.
[27] July 1816 letter to the missionaries at Aix in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 12, p. 20.
[28] August 18, 1843 letter to scholastic brother Charles Baret in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 811, p. 27.
[29] March 19, 1831 letter to Father Mille in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 387, p. 16.
[30] November 1, 1831 letter to Father Mille and the Fathers and Brothers of Billens in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 406, p. 39.
[31] January 10, 1852 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 11, no. 1096, p. 71.
[32] July 9, 1853 letter to Father Anthony Mouchette in Oblate Writings I, vol. 11, no. 1160, p. 146-147.
[33] December 15, 1843 letter to Father Etienne Semeria in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 826, p. 47.
[34] August 12, 1817 letter to Father Tempier in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 20, p. 32.
[35] August 22, 1817 letter to the same person in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 21, p. 35.
[36] July 29, 1830 letter to Father Hippolyte Guibert in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 350, p. 202-203.
[37] October 9, 1816 letter to Abbé de Forbin-Janson in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 14, p. 23.
[38] June 19, 1825 letter from the Founder to Father Pierre Nolasque Mye in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 183, p. 175.
[39] January 10, 1845 letter to Joseph Alphonse Martin in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 865, p. 95.
[40] March 3, 1822 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 80, p. 89.
[41] March 20, 1827 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 267, p. 131.
[42] March 11, 1816 letter to Father Tempier in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 11, p. 19.
[43] October 8, 1835 letter to Father Eugene Bruno Guigues in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 547, p. 178.
[44] November 5, 1844 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 861, p. 90.
[45] Constitutions et Règles de la Congrégation des Missionnaires de Provence (1825), Part Two, Chapter Two, par. On recollection and silence, art. 8, no. 3.
[46] May 27, 1835 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 516, p. 160.
[47] August 26, 1826 letter to Father John Baptist Honorat in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 252, p. 117.
[48] February 26, 1848 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 968, p. 213.
[49] January 25, 1848 letter to Father Etienne Semeria in Oblate Writings I, vol. 4, no. 2, p. 7. See also March 1, 1844 letter to Father Honorat in Oblate Writings I, vol. 1, no. 32, p. 81 and letters of July 6, 1845 to Father Guigues in Oblate Writings I, vol. 1, no. 57, p. 121 and July 30, 1846 in Oblate Writings I, vol. 1, no. 67, p. 135.
[50] In Selected Texts, no. 313, p. 367.
[51] August 12, 1817 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 20, p. 33 & 34.
[52] March 8, 1827 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 265, p. 129.
[53] November 19, 1840 letter to Father Semeria in Oblate Writings I, vol. 9, no. 718, p. 156.
[54] December 27, 1841 letter to the same person in Oblate Writings I, vol. 9, no. 755, p. 202.
[55] June 6, 1831 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 393, p. 27.
[56] August 20, 1847 letter to a priest in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 940, p. 175.
[57] June 12, 1832 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 424, p. 62.
[58] February 17, 1826 letter to Scholastic Brother Nicolas Riccardi in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 225, p. 36.
[59] August 18, 1843 letter to Father Guigues in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 812, p. 29.
[60] March 3, 1822 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 80, p. 89.
[61] August 27, 1821 letter to Father Bourrlier in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 71, p. 82.
[62] February 28, 1825 letter to Father Bernard Vachon in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 172, p. 164.
[63] October 14, 1836 letter from the Founder to Father Adrian Telmon in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 594, p. 260.
[64] October 9, 1823 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 114, p. 123.
[65] July 19, 1835 letter to Father Tempier in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 523, p. 167 & 168.
[66] July 25, 1817 letter to in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 18, p. 28.
[67] March 13, 1827 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 266, p. 130.
[68] March 18, 1828 letter to Father Guibert in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 297, p. 153.
[69] May 24, 1826 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 242, p. 100.
[70] June 26, 1826 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 249, p. 114-115.
[71] July 22, 1828 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 307, p. 163.
[72] July 1829 letter to Dominic Albini in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 332, p. 184.
[73] July 22, 1844 letter from the Founder to Father Ferdinand Carles in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 848, p. 77.
[74] Mémoires, quoted in LEFLON II, p. 158.
[75] July 29, 1830 letter to Father Guibert in Oblate Writings I, vol. 7, no. 350, p. 203.
[76] January 6, 1819 letter from the Founder to M. Joseph Augustine Viguier in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 38, p. 55.
[77] January 10, 1831 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 378, p. 2.
[78] February 22, 1819 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 40, p. 59. See also May 22, 1841 letter to Father Guigues in Oblate Writings I, vol. 9, no. 729, p. 170; February 15, 1843 letter to Father Noël Francis Moreau in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 788, p. 4 and April 24, 1848 letter to Father Courtès in Oblate Writings I, vol. 10, no. 973 p. 220.
[79] February 22, 1823 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 6, no. 93, p. 103.
[80] May 18, 1836 letter to Father Mille in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 571, p. 231.
[81] September 3, 1834 letter in Oblate Writings I, vol. 8, no. 485, p. 124.

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36th General Chapter 2016
36th General Chapter 2016
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