Letters of Marcellin – 114

Marcellin Champagnat

1837-06

Once again, because of the lack of available personnel to fill all the requests received, Fr. Champagnat is obliged to decline an offer to found a school. The mayor had seen to it that a school building was put up, but this expense had no doubt exhausted the available funds of the little village of Brangues which at that time had barely 850 inhabitants. For his part, the Founder needed money for the upkeep and training of the many young men at the Hermitage, whom he would not be able to send out for at least a few more years. That length of time was doubtless too long for the mayor, who did not contact the Brothers of the Hermitage again.

Mister Mayor,

We cannot help admiring the zeal you show for the Christian education of the young people of your town, and it gave us great consolation to learn from your esteemed letter that you had constructed a building destined for this good work. If we might express an opinion here, it would be that it seems to us that having the boys school so close to that of the girls, is not without its disadvantages. It would be a delight for us, Mr. Mayor, to be able to respond to the confidence you show in us by sending you brothers. But, over and above the fact that the reductions you request would be impossible for us to accept, especially at this moment when we are very hard pressed, the large number of requests we have to fill before yours, puts us in no position to send them to you before a lapse of several years.

Please accept our good wishes for the prosperity of your establishment, which is so useful for the public good, and the sincere expression of the respectful devotedness with which, Mr. Mayor, I have the honor….

Champagnat

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. 45, nº 39

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