Letters of Marcellin – 107

Marcellin Champagnat

1837-05-12

Jean-Louis Breuil, from Montarcher, the son of Louis and Catherine Dumoulin, received the religious habit on 28th May 1835, under the name of Bro. Marie-Gonzague. According to the prospectus (cf. Circ., I, pp. 141-143; AA 57-59; OM, 1, doc. 108, pp. 325-327), he should have paid 400 francs. On the day he was admitted to the house, 3rd November 1834, he paid 60 francs, and on 7th February 1835, forty more (cf. Registre des entrées, 1, p. 57). His name appears on a List of money owed by the novices, followed by the sum of 400 francs (cf. AFM, 132.3 bis p. 72). It was no doubt this sum which Fr. Champagnat had previously requested of Mr. Breuil, when his son left the Institute. But, basing himself on the opinion of his parish priest, Mr. Breuil felt he did not have to pay; hence Fr. Champagnats explanation, which follows.


It is not surprising, my dear Breuil, that the priests whom you consulted concerning the payment of your sons novitiate expenses decided in your favor, since you explained the situation from your point of view. No one can judge a case objectively without hearing both sides, hence the maxim: never condemn a person without a hearing. So, no matter what you were told, the fact remains that you owe us, and that we have a right to ask for the repayment of the expenses which your son occasioned for our house. He came here to become a religious and we received him as a novice and not as a boarder; that was the basis of our agreement.

As for military service, we would have done for him as for all the others; we have still not let any of our brothers go to the army. So why the hard tone of your letter? We think too highly of your probity to believe that you would not respect our justified claims. We would be very upset to cause you any inappropriate trouble; we always want to be on good terms with everyone.


Please accept our warmest greetings,

For Fr. Champagnat our Sup.,
Bro. François

N.D. de lHermitage, 12th May 1837

P.S. We were very much hurt to learn that a blessed religious habit had been used for secular purposes. All those who leave our house make it their duty to return the holy habit intact.

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. 39 nº32

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