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1 December 1837 — Jean-Claude Colin to Giacomo Fransoni

From the microfilm of the original sent in the author’s hand, ACPF, Congressi, Oceania, t. 1, 454-455.

[p. 1]
[At the bottom of the page]
His Eminence, Cardinal Fransoni, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith.

Your Eminence,
Quite recently we have received letters from Monsignor Pompallier, Bishop of Maronea, and his missionaries; these were written from Valparaso and dated from the 17th to the 23rd July. The party was then making ready to continue its voyage to the islands, its destination.
On the journey which was long and painful, they were grieved to lose one of their confrères, Fr. Bret. A young priest aged twenty-nine, full of zeal and very talented, he succumbed to a serious sickness just below the equator. They felt very keenly this loss which is a severe blow to the mission, but Providence, like a good mother, was not slow in coming to their aid an consoling them with blessings which she poured out on their ministry throughout the voyage. They gave instructions regularly to the persons aboard; they had the consolation of seeing all the sailors taking advantage of these instructions, approaching the sacrament of penance, some even making their first holy communion, others receiving the sacrament of confirmation. There we have, as it were, the first fruits, we hope, of the blessings that the Lord in His great mercy will deign to shower on their Apostolic work.
We can reasonably presume, unless something untoward happens, to slow down their progress, that they have actually arrived in the midst of their islanders. We are busy preparing a reinforcement of three or four priests with two catechists, for them, and if it pleases your Eminence, we shall have everything in readiness for the new workers to leave within the year 1838. But before this, it would seem to us to be useful and even necessary if two or three of them were to spend some time in Rome, there to draw from the source itself the faculties and instructions necessary for a ministry so novel to them. In this we shall faithfully follow the advice that your Eminence will be good enough to give us.
With full submission and deepest respect, I dare to call myself,
Your most humble and obedient servant
Colin Sup.
Belley, (department of Ain) 1st December 1837.

[p. 4] (In the handwriting of a clerk of Propaganda)
1st December 1837.
Rispondere più presto che si può dicendo che i nuovi Missionarii possono partire per l’Oceania occidentale senza venire a Roma con dipendio di denaro e di tempo (Respond promptly saying that the new missionaries can depart for Western Oceania without coming to Rome on account of the cost and the time.)