From Marist Studies
Jump to: navigation, search

29 December 1845 — Br Pierre-Marie (Pierre Pérénon) to Fr Jean-Claude Colin, Kororareka

Translated by Peter McConnell, June 2010 See the Clisby translation or the Quin translation

J(esus) M(ary) J(oseph)
29 December1845
Very reverend Father,
I am ashamed that I have not written to you for so long. However it has not been without my thinking very often of doing it, but I was always waiting for the arrival of some priests from France. Then the war broke out between the English and the Maoris at the Bay of Islands. The English blocked the harbour for a long time, and they let only warships and some other vessels into the harbour. They use them for that purpose and in such a way that we do not often find in the bay workmen to deliver letters where we want. I think I told you in my last letter that I have left aside for some time the study of Theology through a lack of good health; but I will tell you today, reverend father, that I have left it aside completely because my health has always been very weak and there are no signs of its improving.
My poor health consists of rheumatic pains which I constantly feel all over my body. Indeed I already felt them to a little extent in France, but they have greatly increased since I have been in the mission fields. I think that this increased pain is due to the frequent rain which we have here, from the cold winds which blow pretty well the whole year, often even in Summer, they are very cold, and from the pork fat which we use continually. With all that this rheumatism makes me pretty well of no use to the mission station. Several have told me that this rheumatism, so long deeply rooted in the bones would not diminish and on the contrary would increase as I grew older.
I don’t know if the good God did not want me to come to the mission field, but for three days before leaving Lyons I was continually suffering from physical discomfort. I had to take heart when I arrived in Sydney. Since then I have tried to be courageous as much as I have been able hoping that this indisposition would fade away but now I am becoming discouraged. I would return quite willingly to France if the bishop allowed me and if I found a favourable opportunity. I would not dislike the mission station if I were able to do something, on the contrary I would love it a lot, but now that I see that I will not do anything other than eke out the rest of my life and increasingly as I see it from one year to the next.
I would prefer to return to the Hermitage, if I did not fear going against the will of God. I think that I would be much better there with regard to my spiritual wellbeing because I would be at least sheltered from loneliness. Reverend Father, I would be delighted to know your feelings on this matter, but while waiting I am keen on keeping to the decision of the bishop and of Father Forest.
Very reverend father, I have the honour of being your very submissive son in Jesus and Mary
Brother Pierre-Marie