Born at Fréjus (Var), May 5, 1837.
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, July 15, 1858.
Oblation at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, August 7, 1859. (no. 489)
Ordination to the priesthood at Marseilles, July 14, 1861.
Left the Congregation, dispensed from his vows, July 22, 1864.
Jean-Baptiste Augier was born at Fréjus on May 5, 1837. He entered the novitiate of Notre-Dame de l’Osier on July 15, 1858 and made his oblation there before Bishop de Mazenod on August 7, 1859. Father Vandenberghe, the master of novices, presented him for vows, but he did not see many positive qualities in this young man whom he says: “is mentally slow and narrow minded, not very generous, believing he has done enough...; small faults and meager virtues, a weak prayer life...; always narrow minded, restless, wily,” etc.
Father Mouchette, moderator of the scholastic brothers at Montolivet also judged him in a negative way from 1859 to 1861. For example, he wrote in his reports: “1859... This brother gives the appearance of being a good fellow, but he knows very well how to get what he wants, especially when it is a question of his health about which he is much too solicitous, regular in observing the rule, good, little talent...; 1860, exaggerates the difficulties of religious life... State of boredom, regrets having taken vows, demanding with regard to his superiors whom he finds are lacking in charity, not following what the Rule demands of them... Small minded in everything and lackadaisical...; May 1861, very meager in virtue and generosity. Everywhere he takes it easy, he does not know how to mortify himself in any regard...”
Nevertheless, Brother Augier was ordained to the priesthood in Marseilles by Bishop Jacques Jeancard on July 14, 1861 and was sent to teach in the church school of Vico. He only stayed one year there. In 1862 and 1863, he spent a few months at Notre-Dame de la Garde and at Notre-Dame de l’Osier. In 1863-1864, he was at Le Calvaire and took part at least in the mission of Gréasque. It seem that no superior was anxious to have him. In July 1864, he received an obedience for Notre-Dame de Lumières; he refused to go. On July 20, he wrote to Father Fabre to tell him that it seemed useless to him to make another attempt in another community and asked to be dispensed from his vows. This request was considered in the General Councils session of July 22. In the session’s report, the secretary wrote: “In an impudent letter in which he accuses the Congregation of being a bad mother, his confreres of being mediocre men, liars complainers, slanderers, calumniators, Father Jean-Baptiste Augier imperiously demanded dispensation from his vows. Basing themselves on no other considerations than the inappropriate terms of this letter, ...the council voted unanimously to dispense him from his vows.”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
Oblate General Archives in Rome. Oblation formula, August 7, 1859; nine letters to Father Fabre (1863-1864) and one to Bishop de Mazenod (1859).