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25 May 1837 — Jean-Claude Colin to Giacomo Fransoni

From the microfilm of the original sent ACPF (Archives of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith) Congressi, Oceania, t. 1, 398-399.

Text of the Letter

[p. 1]
Belley 25th May 1837.
[at the bottom of the page]
His Eminence, Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith.

Your Grace,
The Brief which last year His Holiness deigned to grant to the little Society of Mary, and the mission of Polynesia which he was so kind to entrust to it, have become for the budding institution a source of blessings. Since then, people in greater numbers have asked to be admitted into the Society; we have become organized and set ourselves up as a Religious congregation with a Superior General and taking vows. These favourable results continue to kindle in us feelings of the deepest gratitude to the Holy See.
Your Eminence has no doubt heard that Monsignor Pompallier, Bishop of Maronea, the four priests and three Brother catechists accompanying him waited more than two months in le Havre for a favourable wind to make their way [p. 2] to their destination. During that time they made themselves useful in that town and its suburbs by exercising the s(acred) ministry. Finally, on the twenty-fourth of December, Christmas Eve, they were able to embark. After a fortnight at sea, up tell them a fairly smooth voyage, they were obliged to put into the port of Santa Cruz, on the island of Teneriffe in the Canaries, (because of damage to the ship by the sea). They were most grateful to the bishop and the clergy of the island for the wonderful welcome given to them. They were still there on the 18th, January but were hoping to re-embark in the near future.
Before leaving, the Bishop of Maronea asked me to be good enough to be his correspond and his envoy in France. He even left me some letters as vicar general for Western Oceania. I accepted them with so much more pleasure as I found in this the opportunity of procuring for myself some small share in the works of the missionaries and a means of maintaining and preserving unity between them and the other members of the Society remaining in France.
The office of the Propagation of the faith in Lyons, in addition to the sum it had already given to Monsignor Pompallier and his companions, has just allocated a further eight thousand seven hundred fr(anc)s to them out of the 1838 funds. I have already taken steps to have this sum forwarded to Valparaiso. I am also confident to be able, when the time comes, to send them a contingent of rather good types; for already several priests of the Society are earnestly begging permission to go out and join them, to share their labours and their perils.
I remain most respectfully
the most humble and obedient servant of your Grace,
Colin, priest.
[p. 4 Written in the hand of a clerk of Propaganda]
Polinesia Belley Parigi (?) / 29 Maggio 1837 / Mr Collin. Ringraziamento per il Breve con cui è accordata alla Società Mariana la Polinesia. — Buoni effetti che ciò ha procurato in aumento della Congregazione. — Notizia della partenza e viaggii di Mons. Pompallier Ves(covo) di Maronea. — Sussidj accordati a quelli missionarj dalla Associazione di Lione. — Spera di poter aumentare il numero dei missionarj.
R. 1 Luglio 1837
(Fr. Colin. Thanks for the Brief by which Polynesia was granted to the Society of Mary. - the good results that this has produced in the increase of the Congregation. -- News of the departure and travels of Monsignor Pompallier, Bishop of Maronea. -- Financial assistance to these missionaries of the Society in Lyons granted. -- He hopes to increase the number of missionaries.)