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2 October 1846 — Bishop Guillaume Douarre to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Sydney

Translated by Peter McConnell, September 2010

Jesus Mary Joseph

Very Reverend Father,
I won’t write you a long letter today, hoping to greet you a little after you receive this letter; it should nevertheless get to you only a day before I do. I would be upset allowing a single opportunity to go by without my contacting you.
Our shipwrecked men left New Caledonia on 7 September 1846 and reached Sydney on 1 October. We will leave them soon to return to France and here, as I have had the honour of informing you in a previous letter, I have to tell you of a lot of things that you should know in the interest of our mission stations. Please don’t make hasty decisions before I arrive. Father Dubreul had to attend to purchasing a boat; if the matter has not been completed, I don’t want any further action to be taken without my input.
Reverend Father, I am charged with a great number of letters which will put you au courant with our missions stations. New Caledonia comprises at the time of my departure only four Catholics: a woman and three chiefs; about twenty other people were also on the point of receiving the grace of baptism. Despite the sad scenes which we are still often witnesses to, the future is less sombre and the kick start has been given; Mary triumphs.
Our priests in Sydney enjoy good health, Fathers Grange, Rougeyron and Montrouzier were also well when I left New Caledonia. Bishop Bataillon’s boat left Sydney two days before we arrived. Father Junillon needed a warmer climate. I will give you too news about Bishop Viard; I found at the bursar’s office a letter dated 5 August; His Lordship was well.
There being nothing else to tell you, I will only renew the assurance of the respectful affection with which
I have the honour of being,
very Reverend Father,
your son and servant,
+ Guillaume, Bishop of New Caledonia.
Sydney, 2 October 1846.
My very humble regards to our priests. Do too remember me to our Brothers!
PS The Arche d’Alliance had not yet arrived when I left Balade.