Letters of Marcellin – 002

Marcellin Champagnat


to arrange a meeting with him.

Rough draft, AFM 132.2, p. 165; reprinted in OM, 1, doc. 163, pp. 411-412.

Since Father Champagnat had so little money, he had asked Fr. Jean-Claude Courveille to go partners with him in buying the property in La Valla (OM 1, doc. 57 and 58, pp. 241, 244) and also that of the Hermitage (idem., doc. 102, pp. 317-319). Now that Fr. Courveille has withdrawn for good (Life, pp. 145-146; Avit, AA, pp. 73-74), Fr. Champagnat wants to regularize the situation, and so he asks his partner to meet with him. At first he thinks of meeting at the Hermitage; then he changes his mind and suggests meeting at Courveilles home. It is hard not to make comparisons with the Founders attitude toward the postulant who had committed a fault similar to the one of which Fr. Courveille is accused (Life p. 4o9).

The text is not dated, but we have Fr. Courveilles reply, setting a date for the requested meeting on 4th or 5th October. Since his reply is dated 29th September 1826, we can date this letter between the 20th and 25th of the same month.

Dear Father Courveille,

I would very much like you to come here or to name a place where we can meet.

Fr. Terraillon is not at the Hermitage, and if the Vicars General have not forbidden you to come here, I do not….

Since I have to go to Grenoble to see the bishop….

The next five letters (3 through 7) were obviously all written around the same time. They are rough drafts which follow consecutively in one of Fr. Champagnats notebooks. They all deal with the same subject, except for the letter to the parish priest of Neuville. But the latters presence in the midst of the other four indicates clearly that it dates from the same period.

We can be sure of that because we know that on 16th May 1827, Bishop de Pins Council considered a request from Fr. Champagnat for a helper. On that day, the request was adjourned until after His Lordships return and taken up again fifteen days later, on the 30th, when the Council appointed Father SĂ©on to assist Fr. Champagnat at the Hermitage (cf. OM I, p. 438, doc. 174-175). So the Founder must have written these letters a few days before 16th May, except perhaps for the last one, to Fr. Barou, which he could very well have written several days later, between the 16th and the 30th.

Edition: Translation from: Lettres de Marcellin J. B. Champagnat (1789-1840) Fondateur de l?Institut des Frères Maristes, présentés par Frère Paul Sester,1985.

fonte: AFM,132.2


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Letters of Marcellin - 004...