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1 Mar 1837 — Jean-Claude Colin à Marcellin Champagnat, Belley

Autograph original in AFM; edited extract in OM 2, doc. 771.

Text of the Letter

[p. 2]
Monsieur Champagnat, supérieur des frères
A Notre Dame de l’Ermitage
par St Chamond
BELLEY (-) 2 MARS 1837
3 MARS 1837
[p. 1]
Belley, 1st March 1837
Dear Father Superior,
A surfeit of work brought on by more than eighty of our children stricken by the flu, has compelled me to postpone answering your last letter; I have, however, told my brother to beg you not to rush things with Fr. Douillet, and I venture again to ask this of you. An open rupture would harm the Society in the diocese of Grenoble where Fr. Courveille's imprudence is still fresh in people's minds. Remember that the spirit of God is suave and that by playing for time we often achieve what at first we despaired of. Let us therefore content ourselves with praying until further notice. When we meet around Easter, we shall adopt together the prudent measures suggested to us by Almighty God.
I sense more and more the great need for unity in our enterprises, so I am concentrating my thoughts on the means of achieving this unity. Otherwise, the different branches of the Society will prejudice each other's interests. It often happens that we do not see a single disadvantage where, however, the Superiors see several. I see this sort of thing every day, and in your problem with Fr. Douillet, if the thing by its nature were not to do harm to the Society of Priests also, I would have refrained from telling you my opinion for reasons that I shall explain to you later.
I have the pleasure of being respectfully
your humble and obedient servant
Colin, Sup.
[Written in the margin on the breadth of the page]
I think I shall express in writing my feelings regarding our arrangements for the Marist Brothers, to Fr. Terraillon.