Deluol, Father Louis Regis
1858, October 15
Date of Birth: 1787, June 16
December 10, 1858
Fathers and Very Dear in Our Lord:
You understand that I do not know how adequately to express — and most certainly you share in — the deep pain that afflicts me in communicating the triple 1oss which has just come to our little Society by reason of the deaths of Fathers DeLuol, Vimal and Gosselin. Although I have not yet officially asked of you the customary prayers and remembrances for these dear confreres, you have not failed to render them this duty. There remains to me to comment in turn on the principal circumstances of their lives.
Father Louis Regis Deluol was born on June 16, 1787, at St. Privat in the Diocese of Viviers. After making his early studies at the College of Aubenas, he entered, on October 26, 1807, into Philosophy at the Seminary of Viviers, which had just been brought back and reopened by Father Vernet the previous January. Beginning his Theology on October 25, 1808, he was appointed to teach Philosophy in 1809, 1810, and 1811. In that last year the Sulpicians were obliged to leave the seminary; he was named Professor of Theology and he continued [in that capacity] even after their return in 1814 until October 1816, when he went to make his Solitude at Issy. After Solitude Father Deluol left for Baltimore which he reached on October 24, 1817. He was appointed to teach at the same time Philosophy, Theology, Sacred Scripture and Hebrew. In October 1818, he was appointed Treasurer of the Seminary. Then in September 1829, on my visitation to Baltimore, I named him Superior in virtue of the special power that I had received from Father Garnier. He carried out that office up to the time of his return to France in 1849.
He was much involved both in the business and the spiritual side of seminary affairs. He often found himself in difficult situations, and he rendered to the seminary services which must never be forgotten. Circumstances forced him still to be involved with priestly work outside the seminary, and we are well aware that he made his contribution by bringing into the Church a fairly large number of non-Catholics. Too, he was honored by the confidence which successive archbishops of Baltimore placed in him not only for the administration of the diocese but also for the wider interests of the American Church. He took an active part in the seven Provincial Councils held from 1829 to 1849 and in several of them he acted as Promoter.
He was especially involved with the community of Sisters of Charity founded at Emmitsburg in 1809 by Father Du Bois and now widespread throughout the United States. When Father Du Bois became Bishop of New York, Father Deluol was, in 1826, named to replace him as Superior General of the Sisters.
When he became three years later Superior of the Seminary, he had to resign as Superior of the Sisters, but in 1841 he felt obliged to take up again the superiorship; in spite of all he could do, he was not able to give up that position completely (so contrary to our rules and customs) until the American Sisters were joined to those in France forming one and the same congregation under the Vincentians.
All these involvements stretched Father Deluol’s influence quite far and won for him great esteem and prestige. Since his return to France, we have often seen the importance which missionary [i.e., American] bishops and other distinguished persons coming from the United States place on visiting him and showing him their regard, their affection and their trust.
Father Deluol’s health, although quite robust, had nonetheless undergone various setbacks, and he had several times felt himself close to death. In l849 he was recalled to Paris where he arrived on October 2lst. After a year or so spent in building up his strength, he took his place among the directors of the Seminary of St. Sulpice and was assigned to a class of Hebrew. He always showed an exemplary exactness as regards community exercises and by reason of his kindness won for himself the affection of his confreres and all those who had anything to do with him.
His health, run down towards the end of the vacation period, seemed sufficiently restored when he was stricken with anthrax which took him off within a few days after bringing on him severe suffering, endured with admirable patience. Fully conscious, he received, on the evening of October 14th, the last sacraments with edifying piety; the next day, just as the prayers for the dying were being finished, he died peacefully at ten minutes after ten in the morning.
In bringing this long letter to a close, I beg Our Lord that the unexpectedness with which our dear confreres have been taken from us may influence us to live in so holy a manner that we may be always ready to appear before God, that our regularity and our fidelity in observing all our rules may be such that we hereafter be held up as models to those who come after us. I recommend myself especially to your prayers and I reaffirm to you the assurance of my sincere and affectionate attachment.
Your thoroughly devoted in Our Lord
Superior of St. Sulpice