Letters of Marcellin – 213

Marcellin Champagnat

1838-09-19

In reply to the letter of the preceding 13th August (L. 207) the bishop answered Fr. Champagnat on 2nd September, thanking him for the interest he showed in the diocese and telling him the order of priority he should follow for taking on the proposed schools:
Saint-Geoire, Crolles, Saint-Lattier, and finally Bougé-Chambalud. Then he added, I would be very sorry to see you obliged to break off with Fr. Douillet. Why did you not tell me the reasons which led you to take this step? However, may everything work out for the best. He soon had an occasion not only to answer the bishop but also to let him know the reasons why he was at odds with Fr. Douillet. For more information on this matter, see Bro. Avit, AA, pp. 262-267.

My Lord,

I thought Your Grandeur might not think it a bad idea if I set before your eyes the conditions which the esteemed Fr. Douillet wants to impose on us. I have copied them word for word, as follows:

Please believe me, Fr. Superior, that in my requests I am in no way calculating like people in the world, and that I take things at their true value. Omnia ad majorem gloriam Dei, amen.

1º Except for a few items, I cede the possession of everything I own at La Côte in the form of land, buildings and furnishings, for the sum of 600 francs annually, payable exactly and in every case at the following dates: next 1st October, 150 francs; 1st April, 150 francs; 30th August, 300 francs; and so on until the end of the lease, which will run for 9 years.

2º The lessee will be responsible for all taxes of whatever nature, present and future.

3º All repairs and annual deterioration of house, walls, courtyards and enclosure will be at the expense of the lessee, who binds himself to maintain everything in good condition, like a good father of a family, just as he will find them when he enters into their possession.

4º The free school will continue to be maintained as heretofore and directed by two brothers with the salary paid by the city.

5º If the brothers should cease directing the establishment at La Côte, no matter how this should come about, the furniture ceded will be compensated for by the sum of 3000 francs, payable on request to the lessor, unless the latter prefers to reclaim it in kind, in the state in which he finds it.

6º The lessee promises to open an establishment in the area specified by the lessor.

7º In any case, Marthe Cuzin will continue until the end of the lease to enjoy the use of the kitchen and her room in the Bon house. Moreover, if she remains at the service of the house, she is to receive the sum of 100 francs as salary. If on the contrary, she withdraws, she will receive 200 francs annually, payable in equal amounts every three months.

My Lord, we cannot continue our establishment at La Côte-Saint-
André except under the conditions under which we founded it. With your permission, we sent brothers to Fr. Douillet on condition that they be lodged and that they be given the furnishings we require. We do not have any establishment on a different footing and it would be against our custom to accept such commitments.

We are extremely annoyed that we cannot continue to direct the school in La Côte. We will always hold Fr. Douillet in the esteem he deserves. As for you, My Lord, please consider our society as always being entirely devoted to you and as finding it a singular honor to work under your auspices for the glory of God in your outstanding diocese.

Please accept the sincere veneration with which we have the honor to be Your Grandeurs most humble and most respectful servants.

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. 101-102, nº 117, éditée en AAA, pp. 262-264

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