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7 November 1842 — Bishop Jean-Baptiste-François Pompallier to Father Jean-Baptiste Épalle, Kororareka

Translated by Fr Brian Quin SM

Based on the document sent, APM OOc 418.2.


63 Paternoster Row, ° Father Épalle, ° in Lyons, ° 4 St Barthelemy Rise, ° Lyons, ° Europe, ° France. ° To the care of Rev Thomas Heptonstall, ° London. ° Francis Murphy.

[In the handwriting of Poupinel]
New Zealand ° Kororareka 7 November 1842 ° Bishop Pompallier

Station of St Peter and St Paul, Kororareka
7 November 1842

Bishop Pompallier to Reverend Father Épalle, pro-vicar of the apostolic mission of Western Oceania.

My dear friend,
I am beginning to get a bit worried about you. So you didn’t write to us from Valparaiso? I believe you are now in France and in good health. Quickly, this is what I want you to do. I have spent the whole night writing, and the ship that will take it is about to leave.
1st, I have written twice to his Eminence the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda Fide. 2nd, today, or rather tonight, a long letter to the Propagation of the Faith. At this point, I am asking you to ask those gentlemen of the Central Council that they acknowledge you as well as the Reverend Father Superior-General.[1] 3rd, I am sending you the situation regarding expenses with the money brought by Father Forest, and a strategy for not losing the mission funds in the future. 4th, Try and get for me one or two English priests with a strong calling to the apostolate. 5th On my behalf, write to M. de St Hilaire, senior member of the Council of State and director of the Colonies in Paris[2] so that he might kindly support my requests to M. the Minister to send every year one of his naval vessels to visit our missions, especially those in the tropics; Wallis, Futuna, Tongatapu and even Fiji, where I have left in Lakeba a newly-baptised catechist. [3]Please give my respectful homage to M. de St Hilaire. Tell him that I am going to write to him soon. 6th, Try hard to develop, in Lyons, with those members of the Council of the Propagation of the Faith, the plans to get sent to us safely and regularly all the assistance that we need. According to these plans the Reverend Father Superior could send us as subjects six priests and six Brothers per year, without harming the material situation here on the spot. 7th, All the complaints about me which you have sent to me in Wallis are false or are based on badly formed ideas; my conscience tells me, in the presence of the Lord, that I had to do what I did, given that help would come from Europe as was necessary, and that no-one lost our funds. For the good of my works and the work of the mission, but not for [the good of] man, you must re-establish my trust, shattered perhaps, in the benefactress associations. I do not see that it is still necessary for you to go to Rome. 8th, My thanks and my greetings in the Lord to Father Poupinel, my greetings in the same way to the Reverend Fathers Séon, Bourdin and Ozanam. My respectful remembrances to Father Teraillon, to Father Director Colin, senior &&&. My respectful remembrance also to Father Neyrat, parish priest of St Francois, to Father Barou,[4] and to Father Beaujolin. So many other people whose names are also written in my heart. How sorry I am to be still, involved in these great matters concerning the good shepherd and his many sheep, without being able to write to all of you. All yours,
+ François, Vicar-Apostolic
PS Make sure you have a good understanding of everything that is going on in Lyons. Write to me at least every three months. Your being in Lyons is worth twice your being here on the spot. Isn’t that saying a great deal? Don’t say that I am belittling you. It’s a great sacrifice for me to be deprived of you here.
2nd P S – very important. Do not forget to try to get from our allocations from the Propagation of the Faith to Archbishop Polding’s mission in Sydney the 200 pounds which you know have been used by us in its place as a result of a mistake by the agents for this gift made to the mission. François
3rd P S If you see some of my relatives, tell them that I still love them very much, and that I am going to write to them very soon.


  1. Cf doc 217, introd.
  2. Cf. Jore p 277 “ J E Fillau St Hilaire was already 37 years old when in 1816 he asked for a position at the Ministry of Marine. He had formerly been a Counsellor in the prefecture of Charente–Inferieure, and he was a knight of the Legion of Honour. Immediately appointed Head of the Office of the Administration at the Colonial Office, in 1826 he was promoted to be Director of the Colonies, and he occupied this position until he was allowed to retire in 1842. At the same time, he was master of Requests at the Council of State, then Commissioner–General of the Navy. He was awarded the Cross of a Knight of St Louis in 1825, and the rosette of the Legion of Honour in 1828. M. Fillau St Hilaire gained in his tasks a well–deserved reputation for great competence and rendered the greatest of services”. Colin, in his letter of 21 September 1839 to Pompallier (CS doc 89 [4]), wrote that the government in Paris was going to be asked, through M de St Hilaire, to send letters free of charge from Paris to London.
  3. Du Bouzet, on the Brillante, was going to call at Tonga, Wallis, Rotuma, New Caledonia, New Hebrides and Auckland in the course of a journey begun on 26 October 1845 and finished 29 June 1849 (cf Jore 1: 98). The catechist on Lakeba was Moise (Mosese) Matanavai. (cf doc 153: [16, 20-21, 218 [11].
  4. No doubt Jean-Joseph Barou and Joseph Beaujolin, both vicars-general of Lyons, but let us note two other priests of the diocese of Lyons named Jean Barou: one who died as parish priest of St Pierre de Montbrison, and the other who died as parish priest of St–Haon-le Chatel. (cf OM 4, p 193 – 194, 705, 706)