Letters of Marcellin – 136

Marcellin Champagnat

1837-09-24

In his letter, which has not been preserved, Fr. Péala asked Fr. Champagnat for brothers. Since he could not act on the request immediately, and since there was no follow-up, he forgot all about it. The reminder came later, and this is his reply. Since the date for the annual retreat was approaching, and the Founder never opened a school without having visited the place in person or through one of the brothers, the foundation could not be made that same year. However, he does show his interest in this school, situated in the mountainous region of the Velay, which was flourishing in terms of both Christianity and religious vocations. As we will later see, other obstacles arose, and the school was not started by the Marist Brothers. It was only a hundred years later, in 1938, that they took it over. (Cf. Letters 192, 212, 283, 335, and 338.)

Dear Father,

We had nearly forgot about the establishment in Tence because no one had said anything to us about it for a long time, so much so that we could no longer count on it. Your letter drew our attention to this subject again, and since you are offering us a completely funded establishment, it will be listed among those to be made first, provided the delay we are obliged to impose because of our lack of subjects does not lead you to change your mind.

Our brothers are starting their vacation, and their retreat is about to begin. Judge for yourself, Father, whether it is possible for me to be absent right now. I could not take the time to visit you until after All Saints. Consequently, before taking further action I will await your reply; I am determined not to neglect any means of furthering your evident zeal and generosity for the glory of God and the Christian education of your children.

I remain with respect, Father, your most devoted servant,

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. 58, nº 58

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