Letters of Marcellin – 199

Marcellin Champagnat


In June, Bro. François had sent the following reply to Fr. Gaspard Grasset, who was then rector in Montepellier:

Our Father Superior had to go to Paris some time ago on important business for the Society of the Brothers of Mary, and he is still there for the same reason. Since I do not know how long he will have to stay in the capital, I decided to give you a provisional answer.

I am sure that when he returns from Paris he will have to travel to the department of the Var to see an establishment he has been asked to open. On his way down the RhĂ´ne he will gladly stop to see Montpellier and speak with you about the proposed novitiate. I know he intends to open one in the south of France, but he has not yet begun anything in that direction.

The spiritual director of your seminary also asked us for brothers for Brassac, but it will be impossible for us to honor his request for the coming year because of the promises we have already made. I must therefore ask you (if you will pardon me this indiscretion) to be good enough to ask him to be patient until our Superiors trip to Montpellier.... (RCLA, 1, pp. 89-90,
nÂş 101)

This letter therefore deals with two different things. On the one hand, Fr. Grasset, rector of the Montpellier seminary, was asking for brothers to open a novitiate; on the other, Fr. Benoit, spiritual director of the same seminary, is looking for brothers for a school in Brassac, his hometown, in the department of the Tarn. Brother François answered both of them, asking the first to pass the reply on to the second. The latter, either because he never got the reply, or was dissatisfied with it, writes again about the foundation in Brassac. The Founder is now answering this second letter.

Father Director,

Your first letter reached our house during my absence; I received your latest a few days after my arrival. I have just been told that a few words of reply to your letter had been inserted in the one sent to the Father Rector of your seminary, relative to the proposal for a projected novitiate. Perhaps he has not yet received it.

I plan to make a short trip to the south. I hope to have the opportunity to see you and speak with you about the establishment you request. It is true that we cannot supply brothers this year because of our lack of subjects, but your request is under consideration and we will try to accommodate you as soon as possible.

Please accept my gratitude for the kindness you show toward our society and accept also the respectful devotion with which I am you most humbe and most obedient servant,

Sup. of the M.

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, pp. 92-93, nº 105. 199, 02-08


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