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9 August 1837 — Jean-Claude Colin to Marcellin Champagnat

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

[p. 4]
Monsieur / Monsieur l’abbé Champagnat supérieur des / frères / A Notre Dame de l’Ermitage / par St Chamond / Loire
LYON (--) 10 AOUT 1837 / ST CHAMOND (84) 11 AOUT 1837

Text of the Letter

[p. 4]

[p. 1]
Lyons, 9th August 1837.

My very dear confrère,

I am remiss in answering your letter. But apart from being very busy, I do not quite know what to say about this acquisition you speak of.
The Brothers' branch has not foundations solid enough yet on which we can give an answer to the question.
Will the schools of the Brothers have sufficient funds or special revenues, belonging to the Society or to each individual house? Or have they merely the salary provided by the parishes with the monthly fees of the children? There we have so many important points that we should have to settle. Then it would be easy to answer the question proposed. In any case, let us pray fervently; perhaps we are neglecting completely the sole means we have of knowing God's will and of succeeding in our enterprises.
I feel urged to bring pressure on you to for to defer any sort of project for three months, to spend your time uniquely in getting into good shape and putting on a sound footing your Mother-House and your individual houses and to put your business matters in such good order that if you were to die within three months everything would be in perfect order.
I beg you as a friend and confrère to give much less attention to external (matters) and more to the spiritual matters of your community; your health will be the better for it and so will your soul.
I do not consider that the time has come to consider of primary importance the dotting of the "i"s, with regard to the houses of the priests. We cannot yet offer a sufficient guarantee and we would inspire mistrust.
Fr. Chomel, a curate at Tarentaise is asking to enter the Society; will you please question him about his vocation and tell me what you think about it.
Yesterday I saw Fr. Paullier in connection with the Brothers for Fourvière; he will receive them with their habits. He is only asking for two, but we have adjourned until the month of September and have taken this time to examine the matter before God.
I would like to know if you could preach our retreat on the 11th July, that is, to begin it. I have not the time to re-write my letter. I am going to set off again for Belley. (erased)
Your very humble confrère,
Colin, sup.
[in the margin, across the page]
I am going to set off again for Belley.