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12 May 1843 - Father Moreau to Father Colin, Bay of Islands


He is writing two months after his arrival in NZ.

The missionaries had come on the naval vessel “Le Rhin”. The twenty officers and cadets from the naval college on board soon showed themselves quite irreligious . A bit of a trial for the Marists. The living quarters they were assigned were very cramped, smelly and uncomfortable. The food however was very good. Naval vessels had the advantage, too, of having a surgeon on board, and also a good pharmacy. He then sums up what he sees as the pluses and minuses of using naval vessels to carry missionaries.

On the way out the “Rhin” had called in at the port of Bahia in Brazil. Moreau’s report on what he observed of the state of the Church in Brazil leads the modern reader to ask: “And we think we have problems?” Moreau thinks the Society of Mary should seriously consider sending men to Brazil, particularly to staff a seminary...

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