One year after the founding of the Missionaries of Provence, the first scholastic brothers (called “Oblates”) appeared on the scene. They were Hippolyte Courtès and Marius Suzanne. Right up until 1823, the scholastic brothers resided in Aix under the direction of Fathers de Mazenod and Maunier. They followed the courses available at the seminary in Aix. In 1820-1822, the postulants, novices and a few scholastic brothers went to live at Notre-Dame du Laus under the direction of Father Tempier, the superior. All returned to Aix in autumn of 1822 and remained there until the end of 1826 with Father Courtès as the superior of the house.
In January 1827, the scholastic brothers were called to Le Calvaire where they joined the novices who had been there a few months already. In October 1827, the Oblates took on the direction of the major seminary of Marseilles and, until 1854, the scholastic brothers followed the courses being given there. In October-November 1830, however, in the wake of the July Revolution, Father de Mazenod sent them to Billens in Switzerland with Father Mille as superior. They returned to Le Calvaire in January of 1833 and would subsequently go to live in the major seminary from 1835 to 1854.
There always were a few scholastic brothers dispersed in various Oblate houses, especially in the early days of the Congregation. They were there in order to bring the personnel up to par. Cases in point were Le Calvaire before 1827 and Nîmes, where, for example, we find the deacon Hippolyte Guibert in 1825. After 1845 especially, for lack of space at the seminary, the philosophers lived at Notre-Dame de Lumières and Notre-Dame de l’Osier. In 1843, a first group of scholastics left Marseilles bound for Canada: first of all, Nicolas Laverlochère and Alexandre-Auguste Brunet, then, in 1844, André-Marie Garin. During the summer vacations of 1833 to 1837, some scholastics went to Aix and Notre-Dame du Laus. Then, it was especially to Notre-Dame de Lumières and to Notre-Dame de l’Osier where they went to find a few weeks of rest.
From 1854 to 1862, the scholastics went to live in the new house of Montolivet in Marseilles where they followed courses as well. Father Tempier was superior of that house just as he had been superior of the seminary in Marseilles from 1827 to 1854. We count about ten scholastics per year right up until 1841, then, from 20 to 40 from then on. About 225 studied at the seminary in Marseilles and 170 at Montolivet. At the seminary of Marseilles and at Montolivet, the Founder always appointed a priest to be moderator of scholastics or spiritual director of the scholastics and the seminarians.
List of Scholasticates and Superiors
|1817-1823||Aix, with Father de Mazenod assisted by Fathers Tempier and Maunier|
|1820-1822||some scholastics were at Notre-Dame du Laus with the novices under the direction of Father Tempier|
|1823-1826||Aix, with Father Courtès as superior|
|1827-1830||Le Calvaire in Marseilles with Father Suzanne as superior from 1827 to 1829, and Father Mie, superior in 1829-1830|
|1830-1832||Billens with Father Mille as superior|
|1833-1835||Le Calvaire with Father Honorat as superior|
|1835-1854||Major seminary of Marseilles with Father Tempier as superior|
List of Moderators
|1854-1861||Father Mouchette, replaced at times by Father Martinet during vacation time|
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
ROMESTAING, Louis, o.m.i., “Maisons de formation 1817-1923” in Missions O.M.I., 57 (1923), p. 727-732.
BEAUDOIN, Yvon, o.m.i., Le grand séminaire de Marseille et scolasticat oblat sous la direction des Oblats de M.I. 1827-1862, Ottawa, éditions des Études oblates, 1966, 282 p.
BEAUDOIN, Yvon, o.m.i., “Le scolasticat de Montolivet, 1854-1862” in Études oblates, 27 (1968), p. 133-175, 238-270.