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Bp Viard to Br Claude-Marie, Wellington, 9 January 1862



In a letter to Favre early in 1862, Poupinel writes: “Br Claude-Marie who is at Nelson has been asking for almost 12 years now to go back to France. His Lordship has made him the promise and it is quite likely that if the ‘Bonite’ goes via Sydney on its return from New Caledonia to France, we would profit by the opportunity to send him. It would be a very convenient opportunity. The departure will not take place before the end of this year. The brother has good qualities, but he wants to be a priest. He has never known how to resign himself to his position. He is very attached to his congregation.” (7 April 1862, APM).

This short letter from Viard to Claude-Marie indicates that the bishop was far from resigned himself to losing another of his personnel. And Garin was willing to allow the brother to go only if he could obtain a replacement. He explains all this himself in a letter to his superior general in May (rf L 165).

This translation was made from a copy of the original draft in Bishop Viard’s letter book in the archives of the Archdiocese of Wellington.

Text of the Letter

My very dear Brother,
Fr Garin is very grieved by your decision to leave Nelson. The trouble your departure will cause this station should cause you serious consideration. After having spent so many years in a post you helped found and prosper, how can you live happily once you are separated from it. You must have compelling reasons for abandoning the place you have been assigned. Anyway, do not cease to pray the Lord to make known to you his will in such a serious decision.
On the return of the very rev. Fr Poupinel you will open your heart to him and be disposed to listen to his fatherly advice. Do not forget, my very dear Brother, to ask for the protection of the Immaculate Virgin and St Joseph her glorious Spouse.
Entirely yours in JMJ.
+ Ph(ilippe) J. V(iard)

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