Letters of Marcellin – 246

Marcellin Champagnat


Letter 191 stated the difficulties which the brothers in Saint-Martin-la-Plaine were experiencing because of the condition of the school building. This time there are financial difficulties, which apparently have been there beneath the surface from the outset but have now become intolerable. In the middle of the school year, Fr. Champagnat feels obliged to warn the mayor, since the parish priest has backed out of the picture and the situation cannot be allowed to continue. We do not know if the mayor replied, but we do know that the Founder wrote to him again (L. 291) for the same reason before the start of the next school year, so the problem was not settled very quickly!

Mister Mayor,

I believe your parish priest has already informed you of the situation in which our brothers find themselves in St-Martin-la-Plaine. The monthly fees cover barely two-thirds of their salary. After two years, there is a deficit of 600 francs, plus 400 francs in foundation fees which have not been paid, which adds up to a thousand francs. The parish priest has told us he cannot possibly pay that sum and guarantee our brothers salary. Consequently, we have taken the liberty of sending you this letter to ask if we can hope for some improvement. It is impossible for us to continue the school in your town if, in your wisdom, you cannot find some means of guaranteeing our brothers salary. Since we demand only what is strictly necessary, the slightest deduction is too much for us. We have offers of free schools from all over, but it is not our custom to abandon our existing establishments in order to found new ones, unless is it not possible for our brothers to survive there.

We ask you to honor us with a reply as soon as possible, so that we may make our decision on that basis.

Accept the respect and sincere devotedness with which we have the honor to be….

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 lexpédition autographe AFM 111.8, éditée dans CGS 1, p. 173


Letters of Marcellin - 244...


Letters of Marcellin - 249...