Born in St-Martin-du-Limet (Mayenne) on
September 16, 1824
Taking of the habit in N.-D. de l’Osier, September 7, 1852
Oblation in N.-D. de l’Osier, September 8, 1853 (No. 351)
Left the Congregation in the United States after 1855.
Julien François Bodard was born in Saint-Martin-du-Limet in the diocese of Mans on September 16, 1824. He entered the novitiate of Notre-Dame de l’Osier on September 7, 1852 and made his oblation there on September 8, 1853. The General Council session held on September 4 had judged him as “being endowed with solid virtue, being very attached to his vocation, prayerful and regular in observance of the rules, with average ability, good character and a robust health.”
He studied philosophy at the major seminary of Marseilles in 1853-1854. Father Mouchette, the moderator of scholastic brothers, judged him positively as well. For example, he wrote: “1853 […] Excellent health, very balanced character and very calm, he has a good prayer life and good will, a little slow, major difficulties as far as his studies go;” 1854 […] Doing well in general although slowly; he could work harder in his studies. He can be excused because he is studying Saint Thomas without understanding anything. He finds his classes boring […] In the General Council session of May 22, 1854, he was judged “really incapable [of continuing his studies] with regard to his intellectual capacities.” They suggested that he pursue his religious vocation in the Congregation and remain as a lay brother. Failing this, the Superior General would grant him dispensation from his vows.
As of June 21, he was sent to Notre-Dame de l’Osier as a lay brother. Bishop de Mazenod commended him to Father Vincens, telling him that this brother accepted this decision with a resignation that was exemplary. He added, “Brother Bodard has expressed the desire that he be sent to the foreign missions. He would serve well at Galveston where they need a Brother on whom they can rely.” (Oblate Writings I, Vol. 11, No. 1212) In the month of August, Father Baudre was appointed superior in Galveston, Texas and he left accompanied by Brother Bodard. This latter soon asked to take up his studies again to become a priest. The Founder opposed this and wrote to Father Baudre on March 14, 1855 that Brother Bodard should abide by the decision taken by the General Council in 1854. “This decision,” he wrote, “was made for reasons that were maturely examined and seriously discussed. This brother must accept that and be content to do the will of God in the state that was made his with his own consent.” (Oblate Writings I, Vol. 2, No. 206)
Subsequently, no further mention is made of this brother except for an entry in the Personnel Registry of 1862-1863 where, under his name, is written: “It seems that he was unable to accept [to remain a brother] and ended up by leaving the Congregation.”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
Sources and Bibliography
G.A. : Oblation formula, undated document: Notes on the temporal affairs of Brother Bodard.