Preaching of missions was not just from the pulpit, but also included visiting the people. The first two days of the parish mission in the rural areas were set aside for this purpose. The idea was to meet the people on their own ground to get to know their concrete problems and needs. Thus the missionaries would be preaching from life rather than some lofty theory. This was something quite new. Nothing similar can be found in other groups that gave missions in France at that time. He established and encouraged charitable organizations and social works of all kinds. For example institutions for the care of the ‘street-children’ were set up. The bishop had one of the priests of the diocese set up a reform school, a project that was very successful. Seeing all the good that it was doing for the young boys who had fallen into bad ways, the bishop encouraged the young priest working in the reform school to found his own congregation in order to perpetuate the good work. Nothing was done just for himself, but always for the needs of the church.
1. To innovate in this manner, St Eugene showed sensitivity in identifying the needs of his people, and creativity in coming up with solutions. What are some everyday ways of training ourselves to notice actively, the needs of others?
2. St Eugene needed courage to push against the traditions of the times. How do you think he remained immune to a typical human need to conform to expectations and maintain the status quo?? How do we best garner courage to be active in the areas of life we feel strongly about?
Fr Patrick Moroney OMI
Br Joshua Nash OMI