January 30 – THE LATTER YEARS OF OUR SUPERIORS GENERAL
THE LATTER YEARS OF OUR SUPERIORS GENERAL
Two Superiors General, Br. Eugene-Marie and Br. Martial, died before the end of their mandate.
Br. Benoit-Marie, who resigned for health reasons, spent his last months in the nursing home at Saint-Laurent.
After completing their term of office, all the other Superiors were keen to do useful work to the end and, needless to say, with the greatest simplicity. They were just Brothers like any other.
Br. Augustin, who was only 55, immediately left Saint-Laurent for Lille where he was head of a boarding school for six years (1852-1858). He was then appointed headmaster of the school at Thenezay and stayed there eight years. After 1866 he lived at the Mother House where he wrote his Chroniques.
Br. Simeon was 56 in 1862 and stayed at Saint-Laurent where he became head of the boarding school; he was a friend and counsellor of the new Superior Br. Eugene Marie who appointed him “spiritual Prefect of the Congregation”. Then, a unique case in our history, he became an Assistant General from 1867 to 1877. In his last eight years he was a fine old man oozing kindness and piety (See 23 February).
Br. Hubert was 66 in 1898 when he became novice master, a post he had held for a long time, until the novices had to leave Saint-Laurent in 1902. He had then lost his purpose in life and died just over a year later.
Br. Sebastien was older than his predecessors (he was 75) and, after a few months he realised that he was no longer able to fill the post he had applied for as a teacher at La Mothe-Achard Scholasticate. He retired to the Mother House where he spent his last two years.
Br. Anastase was 67 when he became Procurator General in Rome and held the post for 12 years. He spent his retirement years with the Superiors at the General House. Because of illness he spent the last two years of his life in the nursing home at Saint Laurent, then at La Hilliere.
Br. Gabriel-Marie first spent a year writing Grignion de Montfort, a Wayfarer of the Gospel, then at the age of 67 left for Senegal where he looked after the juniors, novices and junior Brothers for seven years. After a short while as Superior of the rest home at Boistissandeau, he moved to the rest home at La Hilliere where he wrote a history of the mission in Ethiopia and the life of its Principal Director, Br. Robert d’Uzes, under the title A Simple and bold heart.