Letters of Marcellin – 266

Marcellin Champagnat


It is noticeable that this year the pastoral part of the circular is very short in comparison with the administrative part. Is it need of money, or concern for settling accounts and putting affairs in order which leads to such insistence on financial matters? It does not appear that the congregation was in any particular financial difficulty in 1839. But there is certainly evident a concern for more and more rigorous accounting procedures, in view of the growing number of brothers and establishments (cf. Livre de Comptes, nº 2).

My very dear brothers,

Next month will be a precious and very special time for us, since we will have the happiness of gathering to take a bit of rest under the auspices of Mary our loving Mother. There, united in mind and heart, we will taste the delicious fruits which God promised through his prophet (Ps. 131) to brothers who live in harmony.

Since our gathering will be a large one, I foresee with regret that, despite my desire to see to all your needs, you will be obliged to put up with a pile of necessities which assail our poor nature from all sides. But let us be brave, these passing irritations which we suffer, so to speak, only in a dream, in the words of a holy father of the desert, will be rewarded with eternal happiness.

Try to put all your accounts in order, whether with the bookstore or with the other persons with whom you have had any dealings, so that you may enjoy perfect tranquillity during your vacation. Try to have yourselves paid as well as you possibly can, and if you know the parents or benefactors of some novices or brothers, who do not live too far from you, please urge them to make every effort to complete the payment of whatever they may owe the house. You must realize that since the price of food is so high, we are obliged to call in what people owe us. For the same reason, you cannot promise to take in boarders under the same conditions as in previous years. It would even be preferable to urge well-off parents to pay a supplement to the boarding-fees for the year just ended.

Please include in your packages the worn-out clothing and old habits which you can no longer use and send them a few days before your departure, so that when you arrive here you can check to see that they were not misplaced somewhere en route, presuming you did not come by stagecoach.

Read chapter X of the Rule.

Be careful to fill in carefully the enclosed statistics which you will hand in when you arrive, together with your account book, to the designated brother. To make it easier for you to settle your account with the brother librarian, we are sending you the total of your bills, which comes to the sum of … ; personal expenses … ; total ….

You know that the retreat will begin in early October.

Accept, etc….


Letters of Marcellin - 238...


Letters of Marcellin - 313...