Letters of Marcellin – 230

Marcellin Champagnat

1838-12-04

After writing to the parish priest (L. 225), Fr. Champagnat, no doubt at the direction of the former, wrote to the mayor to recover the 300 francs which were still due on the brothers salary from the preceding school year. On 23rd December, he answered as follows:

Father Superior,

If I have not written sooner in reply to the letter which you did me the honor to write relative to the insufficient salary of our good brothers, it was because I wanted to know the cause of the diminution of the income from the monthly fees of the children who attend our school. I finally learned that we have in our town some clandestine schools frequented by more than twenty children. I have taken measures to put a stop to that abuse. I am now working to obtain from the government permission to receive a small yearly grant in perpetuity, on behalf of the brothers establishment. Moreover, we are expecting any day now to receive the help I requested from the prefect for our boys school. You can count on my zeal, Father Superior, to obtain for our brothers the means to maintain a decent lifestyle. I have the honor to be...Bertholey, Mayor.

Mister Mayor,

The direction of the primary school in Mornant has been entrusted to our brothers for several years now. I have no doubt of your concern for them; this is what leads me to explain to you confidently the unpleasant situation in which they find them-
selves because of the non-payment of part of their salary. Last year their total income was barely 900 francs. There are therefore one hundred Ă©cus due to make up the twelve hundred francs we ask for three brothers, a very modest salary to meet the expenses of their upkeep, clothing, etc., and from which we

absolutely cannot cut back anything without making it impossible for ourselves to make both ends meet. However we very much want to see our brothers continue to work under your protection for the Christian education of the children of your town. This is why we ask you, Mr. Mayor, to please work out with the town council the means to guarantee their salary. We receive offers of free schools from all over, completely endowed, with a fixed salary, and people are making urgent requests to have our brothers. Before I make my decision, I will await your reply, with which I ask that you honor me as soon as possible.

Please accept, etc….

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. 118, nº 136

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