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6 September 1846 — Fr Xavier Montrouzier to Fr Jean-Claude Colin, New Caledonia

Translated by Peter McConnell, September 2010

Jesus Mary Joseph – Confidential Letter – All through Mary!

Very Reverend Father,
Bishop Douarre will give you details on the sojourn of the shipwrecked men of the Seine. So I won’t tell you anything about that matter; but one thing I can’t be silent on because it weighs on my heat, and that is the wretched behaviour of the two bursars at Sydney. In one moment they compromised the good that had cost us so much. We did our duty. We shared our bread with our dear and unfortunate compatriots. We sincerely and cordially tried to assuage their situation, without any second thoughts. The commander, the officers, the crew of the Seine were touched by our behaviour. A first communion, a confirmation, numerous things were done--- We had their respect--- What did Fathers Rocher and Chaurain do? Stupidly they went to the French consul, put pressure on him and without our asking for anything had themselves more than adequately reimbursed--- We have been indignant at this procedure, so ungenerous, so unchristian, and we had to decry the stupidity with the commander and the officers instead of excusing such behaviour. I am telling you these things, very Reverend Father, out of love for the Marist Society. Such deeds would not be slow in compromising it.
I also have a heavy heart at the departure of Bishop Douarre. Nothing less than the prospect of good coming from it would make me support the idea. In every way the bishop is a good father and I am almost angry for having known him when we have to be separated from each other. He was good enough to consult us about that trip. We considered it useful, necessary, even in the quite strange contingencies we have in New Caledonia, as we really have to inform you; at this very moment our house is in a state of crisis. Give him priests; it will function properly. Leave it without new workers, I will languish and perhaps succumb. I am so convinced about that that I think the bishop must return accompanied only by twenty or twenty-five missionaries. Another word, very Reverend Father. Think that we do not have any Protestants yet, but those who are looking for sandalwood are coming and hey could be for sure an advance guard.
Very Reverend Father, receive the assurance of he profound respect and the very sincere attachment with which I embrace you in the quite loving hearts of Jesus and Mary, and I am your very humble and very obedient child,
Xavier Montrouzier
Apostolic missionary.