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Mgr Pompallier to Fr Champagnat, Lyons, 7 October 1836

(CSG 1. 210-11)


Jean-Baptiste Francois Pompallier (1802-1871), ordained in 1829, joined Champagnat the same year at the Hermitage as a Marist aspirant. When the Marists decided to accept the mission of Western Oceania he was proposed as Vicar Apostolic. He was officially appointed in May 1836 and consecrated titular Bishop of Maronea in Rome in June. Back in France he attended the Marist priests' retreat at Belley in September, but since, as a bishop, he could not take vows in the new Society, he made a promise of attachment instead. He gave Champagnat power of attorney to deal with his affairs in France a few days later, on September 30 (S2 434). After blessing the new chapel at the Hermitage on October 4, he went to Lyon where he stayed at the Marist house of Puylata. His group of missionaries included four priests and three brothers who had made perpetual profession as Brothers of Mary: Joseph-Xavier Luzy, Michel Colombon, and Marie-Nizier Delorme. Pompallier took Joseph Xavier and two of the priests with him to Paris on 10th October. Champagnat sent the other two brothers to Lyon on the 11th and they set out for Paris on the 16th. Their ship, the “Delphine”, was originally scheduled to depart Le Havre de Grace on the Channel coast on October 25th. Finances were to be one of the bishop's main problems; he was to have difficulties on this count with Propaganda in Rome and the Lyon-based Society for the Propagation of the Faith, as well as with the Society of Mary.

Text of the Letter

Dear Reverend Father,
I am writing this in a great hurry. I am catching the coach for Paris soon.
Since I haven't yet received a reply from Propaganda in Rome about the money they promised to send on to me in Lyon, I have asked the council of the Propagation of the Faith to advance me the amount and to cash for me the sum from Propaganda when it comes. They have generously granted my request, but you will have to sign the letter of exchange from Rome, and do it in my name as the one having authority to regulate my affairs.
I have left my will for safekeeping with Mr Viennot, a Lyon solicitor, as well as some papers and family titles connected with my temporal affairs. He will supply you with those and the will, if you judge it advisable. Please have made for the three Brothers you are providing for us 2 soutanes each, as prescribed for our good Brothers of Mary, 2 pairs of trousers, and lay clothes.[1] You can draw on the rents which fall due to me at Christmas and next St John's Day to cover any expenses you incur.
Send us the two Brothers still at the Hermitage that you have assigned us as soon as possible. They will have to leave Lyon on the 16th of this month at the latest to be in Le Havre in time for the ship's departure.
Accept once more, dear Father, my farewell in Jesus and Mary. Remember me at the Holy Sacrifice and recommend me to the prayers of all our Brothers.
F. Pompallier, Vic. apost.


  1. For wearing in places under English jurisdiction or where they could not wear the soutane.
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