Letters of Marcellin – 296

Marcellin Champagnat


We have already seen that the best way to obtain brothers was to set up a novitiate in the diocese (cf. the letters to Fr. Douillet). This is what the Bishop of Chalôns-sur-Marne very quickly grasped. Therefore, this second letter (cf. the first, L. 274), deals almost exclusively with a novitiate. It is interesting to note here the fruit of several years of experience.

Father Vicar General,

We are taking under serious consideration the request you were good enough to make about a parish in the diocese of Chalôns. We are quite ready to further your zeal for the important work of the religious instruction of your children, but before beginning the establishment you requested, it will be necessary to come to more detailed agreement on whatever might insure its prosperity.

1º The condition of the parish for which you are requesting brothers: what are its resources? Can it fulfill the conditions of our prospectus, of which I am sending you a copy?
2º Can the novitiate you are requesting have a priest of our society as spiritual director? This is one of our fundamental conditions.
3º Can it be totally dependent on the motherhouse of the society? It is essential that it be so, although elsewhere we make it our duty to give subjects to the dioceses which offer us these establishments, in proportion to those we receive from them.
4º Would a two-year delay suit you? We do not see how we could possibly give you brothers before 1841.

Father Vicar General, please study these various questions and let us know what you think of them. I am, 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. 152, nº 192


Letters of Marcellin - 294...


Letters of Marcellin - 297...