Letters of Marcellin – 216

Marcellin Champagnat

1838-10-31

Besides the question of the classrooms (cf. LL. 161 and 211), with which Fr. Champagnat had had no success at all until now, another problem has arisen, this one also due, it seems, to Fr. Mettons stubbornness. Fr. Metton insisted that the brothers act as subdeacons, cantors and even sacristans (Annales de Sury, p. 10, AFM, 213.76, p. 10). The Founder reacts strongly against these requirements, and asks for specific information about the other matter, as well as about the salary. He certainly has no desire whatever to withdraw the brothers from Sury, but he still wants them to be able to work under the best possible conditions.

Father,

I am extremely annoyed at the problems you are causing for us; we would very sincerely like to go along with everything which might be helpful to you, without hurting our society. The reasons which made us include in our regulations the article which forbids our brothers to fulfill any ecclesiastical function have come to the fore again through the departure of two or three of our brothers who in spite of their commitment are beginning their studies for the priesthood. I am sure you will not think us wrong if we no longer permit this infraction of our rule.

We would like to know as soon as possible: 1º if there is any hope of getting the renovations we pointed out and which we consider necessary so that our brothers in Sury can follow our method of teaching and supervision. When will these renovations be made? 2º Will the arrears from the first year and this year be paid, and when? 3º Will the fees of the children who are not from the town continue to go to the administrators of the school or to the brothers as is done elsewhere? 4º Do you want a fourth brother?

We grant Sury what we grant all our establishments: a brother who is needed because of a boarding school or day-school which has grown up, independent of the one which the town has obtained from our house, is provided by the society without the towns being obliged to contribute to his support.

If these conditions are not suitable, we would be obliged if you would let us know, so that we will not have to start negotiations over again each year.

Please accept, etc….

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: Dapres la minute, AFM, RCLA 1, p.110, nº 125

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