Letters of Marcellin – 257

Marcellin Champagnat


Letter 302 will inform us that the parish of Albigny has been asking for brothers for several years. It has not been possible to grant the parish priests request, partly because there are too few students to keep two brothers busy (the parish had 405 inhabitants in 1880), and certainly because it lacks the financial resources to guarantee two salaries. He appeals to Fr. Barou, the vicar general, and to Fr. Chirat, the parish priest of Neuville, arguing as follows: since the prospectus specifies 1000 francs for two brothers, 500 should suffice for one. The calculations may be mathematically exact, but they are inadmissible because they do not take into account incidental expenses. Later, as we will see (LL. 301 and 302) Fr. Champagnat himself will propose a solution, which is mentioned in passing in the present letter: to establish a single school for both Albigny and Curis.

I do not recall making any agreement with Albigny. The commitment I have at hand was made in my absence by Mr. Souvanan at the request of Fr. Loire, parish priest of Curis, who intended to make a single establishment for the two parishes. Fr. Martin, the parish priest of Albigny, with whom I had the honor to confer recently, told me that he could never bind himself to fulfilling the conditions of our prospectus. It is absolutely necessary, Father Vicar General, even in natural law, that a worker, regardless of any previous agreement one might imagine, be given his nutritum and vestitum. Even though in our last prospectus, printed in 1837, we brought the salary of two brothers to a thousand francs, we are still far below what other corporations with the same goal demand, but we can see that we shall soon have to put ourselves on the same level with them.

How many reasons I could give you for that, which it is impossible to do in a simple letter! Besides, I hope to see you before long. Being a Brother of Mary does not diminish the ordinary necessities of life. It hurts us terribly to see the number of our invalids increasing every year.

Please accept the assurance of the sincere devotedness, 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: Daprés la minute, AFM, RCLA 1, p. 126, nº 151


Letters of Marcellin - 256...


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