Letters of Marcellin – 273

Marcellin Champagnat


Brother Jean-Baptiste must have informed Fr. Champagnat that the authorities of St-Pol-sur-Ternoise were not at all favorable to the brothers school. The Founder does not fail to say as much to the dean of the parish (L. 272) and the situation also gives him an occasion to ask for news about the progress of his request for authorization. Normally, he would have asked Mr. Delebecque, as he had said he would (cf. L.272). Has he done so, and then written to Mr. Libersat for a second opinion? Or has he changed his mind and written only to the latter? We have no indications either way. Mr. Libersat, who was a secretary or head of department in the Ministry of Public Instruction, and therefore very much aware of what went on there, might perhaps have been able to give him a more objective answer. It was he who, a year earlier, on 4th September 1838 (AFM 129.53) had notified the Founder that he had been erroneously informed that his file had been forwarded to the Council of State, when in fact it was still at the Ministry of Public Instruction; and he had promised to keep him updated on everything which happened to his case. So we can understand why the Founder might prefer to consult him.


Permit me to ask you once again to tell me what you have learned about our authorization. What has Mr. Delebecque told you? What steps do I still have to take? Mr. Salvandy had [told] the Bishop of Belley that if we adopted the statutes of a society which was already authorized, ours would be approved. If such were the case, we would have no problem with that; we are too committed to making good Christians and good citizens among the inhabitants of the rural areas.

We have learned from St-Pol that the Sub-Prefect and the mayor are opposed to our brothers. I am annoyed and very surprised, seeing that we made this establishment under the auspices of Mr. Delebecque and with the consent of those gentlemen.

I definitely do not want to create problems for any administration. I would prefer to withdraw our brothers, since we do not have enough for our own region.

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. 134, nº 167, éditée dans AAA pp. 283-284


Letters of Marcellin - 272...


Letters of Marcellin - 276...