Letters of Marcellin – 065

Marcellin Champagnat

1836-05-08

Every year, Fr. Champagnat had to entrust his brothers who turned twenty to Fr. Mazelier, if he did not want to run the risk of either seeing them go off to do seven years of military service, or paying a large amount of money to some other young men to do military service in their stead. It is easy to understand why, under such circumstances, the project of uniting the two congregations was particularly dear to his heart. He had already begun sharing with his confrère the most important items of news about his Institute.

J.M.J.

Notre Dame de lHermitage, 8th May 1836

Father Superior,

Here we come again this year to ask your help for the four subjects I am sending you. Without the help you give us, these subjects would be in real danger. I feel we are obliged to stand by the conditions which we accepted. You are certainly doing us a great favor. I hope we will be in a position one day to repay you. If you have any accounts to settle in the book-
stores in Lyons, I will take care of them. Meanwhile, I am sending you three hundred francs.

I do not need to make any recommendations about those I am sending you. They will be better off in every respect, in your hands and in your house, than if they were with us.

It still seems to me that our two establishments can get along
together, and that the rules are nearly the same. Your diocese would lose nothing in the process. We would establish a novitiate under your authority, where we could then send a certain number of novices. We must come to that ultimately, because our house is too crowded at the moment. The subjects educated in that novitiate would then be assigned in the area, according to need, which would eliminate travel expenses. The requests we receive from your region would be more rapidly and more easily answered, and under your supervision, we could only prosper. For example, La Voute, Mondragon, Laris, Mèze, etc., which send us urgent requests, would be rapidly provided for. May Gods holy will be done in all of this. In this union, which seems feasible to me, we want only to procure Gods glory and spread good education.

As for our authorization, we will not have long to wait for it; at least, thats the hope they give us; once again, all of that is in the hands of God.

We have just received our authorization from the Sovereign Pontiff and we are taking over the mission in the northern part of Polynesia, where we are sending five of our priests and two of our brothers. We certainly recommend this mission to your prayers.

I would send Brother Justin back to you but he has still not completely recovered, so we have sent him to get some fresh air. As for Brother Apollinaire, you may consider him to be under your orders, but you are aware of his situation.

Please accept the assurance of the gratitude with which, Father and most worthy pastor, I have the honor to be your most humble and respectful servant,

Champagnat.

P.S. The proposals I am making to you come from Fr. Colin, Superior General of the Society of Mary.
Please give my friendliest greetings to your associate and to Fr. André.

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: Daprès lexpédition autographe, AFM, 112.1

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