From Marist Studies
15 January 1846- Father Jean-Louis Rocher to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Sydney
Translated by Natalie Keen, March 2011
Source APM OP 458 Rocher.
- One sheet, measuring 178x112mm folded, forming 4 written pages.
- To the greater glory of God and of the Virgin Mary Mother of God
- Sydney 15 January 1846
- Father Superior
- My very Reverend Father
- This New Year’s Day I sent you a package of letters. Among them is one from me which is fairly detailed. This is simply the next instalment.
- The consecration of Bishop Viard took place on the 4th of this month. Bishop Polding was the celebrant. His assistants were Bishop Pompallier and Father Gregory. The ceremony was simple.
- A large number of Protestants were present. The officers of the corvette the Rhin were also present.
- You have no doubt learned from earlier letters that Bishop Pompallier had brought back the English priest whom Bishop Polding had lent to him for a while on condition that Father Petit-Jean would come to Sydney. Well Bishop Pompallier had once again referred to this same understanding with Bishop Polding a few days before his departure. But Bishop Viard and I were against it. Bishop Viard declared his position frankly stating that he wanted none of this, that his strong preference was for a colleague rather than a stranger. For my part, I said to His Lordship that if I were in Father Petit-Jean’s position, I would refuse point blank , since I hadn’t been sent by you to Sydney but in fact to New Zealand.
- Bishop Pompallier gave the impression that he had an inspection to make of the other Vicariates as a matter of course . They rely on the words that the Court of Rome uses when it writes to him: To the Bishop and Apostolic Vicar of Western Oceania.
- Already several have asked me for elucidation on this matter I have always replied in the negative.
- His Lordship told the aide-de-camp of the corvette that Wallis and Futuna belonged to him, that Bishop Bataillon was simply managing his affairs.
- Since Christmas, Bishop Pompallier has been quite unusually friendly towards me. Two or three times, he has invited me to lunch. Often in conversation, he has recommended that I should really learn English. Then you will come to Auckland. My very Reverend Father, I always want to do your will; but to go to a mission where I know that the Apostolic Vicar doesn’t like the Society would be most distressing for me.
- Our Lords the Bishops left on board the corvette on the 12th of this month. They are going first to the Bay of Islands, then to Auckland. There, Bishop Viard is to leave Bishop Pompallier to visit the other New Zealand stations on his own, then proceed to Tonga and Wallis.
- As for Bishop Pompallier,, he is undoubtedly to leave for Europe. He is taking advantage of the fact that the corvette the Rhin has just been ordered to return to France.
- I have given Bishop Pompallier a large package of letters for you from the central mission which we received more than two months ago.
- All the letters which were destined for you have been dispatched to you. In this package there are only letters for the families of missionaries.
- I’ve put a small box for you on board the corvette. It contains natural history items from Father Montrouzier.
- If for some unknown reason, the packet of letters doesn’t arrive in one piece, you’ll recognize it by the sample of binding which is around them. The binding has at each end the seal which is on the envelope of this letter.
- Yours most respectfully, my very Reverend Father
- Your very humble and most obedient child in Jesus and Mary - Rocher