Letters of Marcellin – 337

Marcellin Champagnat


The obstacles which the parish priest of Morestel has to overcome in order to establish his school are becoming clearer. The author of this letter states very frankly that priority is given to establishments which present no financial problems and which charge no fees. Since this is not the case with Morestel, there has to be at least some guarantee about its financing. And in any case, it would be difficult to send brothers there that year. That conclusion is never clearly expressed, because there is no desire to discourage the parish priest, even though he has to be made to understand, by way of innuendo, that he should not count on having brothers in the immediate future. While this letter contains Fr. Champagnats thoughts, it was not written by him, which is very understandable, given the date.


I would be entirely ready to give in to your request if your school had funding and was to be free. We never hesitate over that type of establishment, because good is done much more surely and much more easily there. For example, because it was funded, we had no trouble accepting the establishment in Bougé-Chambalud, even though the request that town sent us came much later than some others. So you can count on our brothers for next All Saints provided that your school can be made free, either through funding or through the intervention of the town. If you are left with only monthly fees and the town contribution of 200 francs, we will be placed in an awkward position, since the localities which offer us the advantage of a free school will absorb all our available subjects and then some. We will really do all we can, but we cannot give you any positive assurances, at least for next All Saints.

Please let us know the state of your resources; if it is impossible for you to make your school totally free, we will see at least on what your establishment will be based, and in that context we will be able to give you a specific reply. Experience has taught us that we cannot begin an establishment until everything is quite ready and the brothers salary is guaranteed in some way. A house is already something, but it is not everything. On that condition, we would have a hundred towns to take care of immediately, and which even asked before Morestel.

I hope you will pursue the success of this good work despite the obstacles you are encountering. It will be all the more solid for having been carried out slowly and with difficulty.

I am, with deep respect….


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. 186, nº 232


Letters of Marcellin - 336...


Letters of Marcellin - 338...