Born in the diocese of Nancy.
Ordination to the priesthood a long time before his novitiate.
Began his novitiate at Le Calvaire in August 1852.
Oblation at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, June 22, 1853. (no. 342bis)
Expelled, November 5, 1855.
César Aubry, a native of the diocese of Nancy, had already been a priest for some twenty years when he entered the Congregation as a postulant in June of 1852. On July 4, Bishop de Mazenod wrote to Father Vincens at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, telling him. Here is “an excellent worker, excellent in the strongest sense of the word. […] We have known Mr. Aubry for some time. He edified us during the whole time he stayed with the Minimes where he struggled with all his might to resist that awful regime which his strong constitution could not withstand.” (Oblate Writings I, vol. 11, no. 1107, p. 87-88)
Father Aubry spent a year at Le Calvaire in Marseilles where he was involved in ministry at the chapel there and took part in a few parish missions. On April 30, 1853, the Founder sent him to Notre-Dame de l’Osier where he was to undergo “one month of strict novitiate.” With a dispensation of four months from his novitiate, he made his oblation on June 22, 1853. However, the members of the General Council, in their May 10 session, suffered a great deal of perplexity about admitting him to vows. Indeed, in the session’s report, we read: “This priest spent the greater part of his novitiate at Marseilles at Le Calvaire. Now, he is at l’Osier where he wished to go to live out his trial year. During the eight or nine months he spent at Le Calvaire, he showed a sufficient amount of good will and a genuine love for the physical aspects of regular living. He enjoys good health and is endowed with more than ordinary talents when it comes to preaching. That is the plus side. On the negative side, there has been noticed in him a certain frivolousness hardly becoming his age, a too pronounced facility of talking about this one and that one in order to criticize them, and then, too, something idiosyncratic which from time to time shows up in a way that leads one to fear mental derangement…”
After his oblation, Father Aubry was sent to Talence where he often went to preach, but in 1854, he wrote the Founder to tell him that his health would no longer allow him to function as a preacher. He requested to be sent to Ajaccio to teach moral theology at the major seminary. Some time after, Father Merlin, his superior, informed Bishop de Mazenod that Father Aubry was indulging in entirely irregular conduct, that he is disobedient “a man who loves good food and good wines, who not only offers little edification to the community in this regard, but is beginning to be known outside the community for these same reasons.”
By an October 24, 1855 letter, Father Aubry asked to be dispensed from his vows. In the November 5 session of the General Council, the decision was taken to decree his exclusion from the Congregation and “to declare he is dispensed from his vows.” Behind his name in the Personnel Registry of 1862-1863 is the notation: “Already advanced in years when he was received at the novitiate, he had tried out more than one position. Of a stubborn and intractable character, he was expelled…”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.