Letters of Marcellin – 087

Marcellin Champagnat

1837-01-23

Father Michel Rieusset, the parish priest of Ganges, who died in 1831 with a reputation for sanctity, had already decided to entrust the education of the children of his parish, both boys and girls, to religious men and women. Fr. Jean-Pierre Combe, who succeeded him, followed up on his idea. The letter he wrote to Fr. Champagnat has not been preserved. The latter, faithful to his principle: Our plans include all the dioceses in the world, did not give him a definitive refusal. But a month later, in his letter of 26th February (L. 96), when it came to making a decision, he raised practical problems for the immediate future.

This letter is in Brother François handwriting; he was then Fr. Champagnats secretary (AA, p. 176), but the latter must have dictated the broad outline, which justifies its inclusion in this volume. The Founder doubtless had to go away, leaving it to Bro. François to sign it, so as not to delay its being sent (cf. AA, p. 205).

Father and most worthy Parish Priest,

In reply to your gracious letter, we are sending you our prospectus. If you are agreeable, we are determined to do all we can to further your zeal for the glory of God and the Christian education of the young people of your city.

Touched as I am by the confidence you show in us, I beg you to accept the respect with which I have the honor to be your most devoted servant,

for Fr. Champagnat our Sup.
Bro. François

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 la minute, AFM, RCLA 1, p. 26, nº 7

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