Br Francois to Br Florentin, (Our Lady of the Hermitage), 9 Jan 1857
Introduction and translation by Br Edward Clisby FMS
After the Marists in New Zealand moved south to the new diocese of Wellington, Florentin was appointed with Basile to a new station in Hawkes Bay. In 1853, when he wrote his letter to Francois, he would have been at Pakowhai near Napier. He was still there in 1857 but a year later the mission moved to nearby Meeanee. At Pakowhai the brothers still had opportunity to catechise and teach, but after they moved, their time and energy were increasingly taken up with managing and running a large farm establishment. Florentin's letter has not survived.
Text of the Letter
- I have still in front of me your welcome letter of 1853 where you let me know of the various employments you have had since reaching Oceania. I am reminded of what St Paul says in speaking of his apostolic labours: 'I have frequently been exposed to danger on many voyages, in peril on rivers and on the sea, in the city and in the desert. I have suffered all sorts of trials and fatigues, frequent watching, hunger, thirst, cold, repeated fasts.'
- It is true, my dear Brother, that you are not always directly occupied in teaching and in catechising, but you know what is said in '[The Principles of] Christian Perfection', that the Brothers occupied in manual work have their share in the good done by those who instruct, just as if they were instructors themselves. That should keep you satisfied and happy while you are waiting for 'the times and seasons the Father has reserved in his sovereign power', as Our Lord told his Apostles [Acts 1: 7]. You know that you are always our well-loved Brother and that we are all very devoted to you, no matter what the position in which you find yourself.
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