Letters of Marcellin – 222

Marcellin Champagnat

1838-10

Father Champagant must have entrusted this letter, like the preceding one, to Bro. Jean-Baptiste, for him to deliver in person. That way he could be sure it would reach its destination, since the first one, written a week earlier, had possibly gone astray, since it still had not arrived five days later.

The only date given on the copy is October 1838, but from the beginning of the letter, it would appear to have been written around the 10th. It announces the arrival of the brothers in St-Pol around All Saints. Since we know from the preceding letter that Bro. Jean-Baptiste was to go through Paris, we may presume he left the Hermitage between the 10th and the 15th and spent more than a week in Paris, no doubt to find out where the business of the authorization stood and to shake the offices of the ministry out of their torpor. The two other brothers must have joined him a few days later.

We see that Fr. Champagnat was asking for payment not only of the expenses of the foundation, as he always did, but also of the expenses of the trip, which it would not appear he did for shorter journeys. From this point of view, distant communities must have created problems for him, if we bear in mind that those brothers would not be able to travel to the Hermitage every year for their retreat.

Reverend Dean,

I believe my letter of 28th or 29th September must have passed yours of 4th October, which I have just received, somewhere en route. However, in case mine went astray, I will repeat its contents here.

Our brothers will arrive in St-Pol around All Saints. They will be very far from the motherhouse, but full of trust in the Lord who is calling them there, confident in your protection and good advice, they will go to you joyfully. You will be their support and their father.

I am delighted at the good dispositions of your people. Like you, I hope that God will bless this establishment and that everything will work out for the best.

In my last letter, in conformity with your wishes, I asked you to tell me when and in whose name I could draw up a bill to cover the expenses of the trip and the foundation, which are usually paid in advance. Here are the details once again:

1º trip to St-Pol in late July 55
2º expenses of the foundation 1200
3º one-way trip for the brothers 293
total 1548

Reverend Dean, the interest which Mr. Delebecque intends to take in the establishment of St-Pol leads me to hope that he will also be willing to continue helping us towards the authorization I am seeking. I hope that when an occasion presents itself you will be good enough as to remind him again. This will be one more reason for me to remain, as always, with the greatest respect and devotedness, Reverend Dean, your most humble and obedient 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, pp. 105-106, nº 120

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