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28 November 1846 — Father Grégoire Villien to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Wallis

Translated by Peter McConnell, October 2010

Wallis, 28 November 1846
Very Reverend Father,
I am leaving in more capable hands the task of describing the various incidents on our long journey and the wonderful sight of Christianity in Wallis so as to come back to what concerns me personally. Because Bishop Bataillon has an urgent need of another missionary to establish the interesting mission station at Rotuma, I agreed to his request on condition however that it would be until the arrival of new missionaries. I interpreted your intentions considering the good attitude of the natives, who have already on several occasions refused Protestant missionaries, and that it would be in your eyes a sufficiently good reason for a temporary stay on this island because every since the natives have asked for Catholic priests they have never seen any coming. Perhaps they could finish up by welcoming those whom they had initially rejected, if we did not straightaway take them into our bosom; yet the bishop told me that he would prefer to send nobody rather than sending a single solitary priest, an act contrary to regulations. Father Verne will serve me as a guardian angel in this new position. The equipment for the church which was sent me did not include any money. I will need as well a tool for making communion wafers and a white altar cloth. As far as the cloth is concerned, Father Poupinel could buy it and charge it to the mission station of Melanesia and send me the invoice so that I can reimburse the mission station that amount from what still remains at my disposal. However, all this is with our agreement and permission. Those church items can’t be bought in Sydney other than at a very high price.
I have the honour of informing you, Father, that my health is excellent for the moment and I am very happy with my decision. I beg Our Lord to sustain me and increase the wish that I may feel useful for souls and He may give me particularly love of trials and tribulations which arte not lacking in this career. Although I am sure that you would not forget your apostolic missionaries, I beg you to pray for me and be so good as to accept my feelings of love and respect with which
I am
your very humble and obedient,
Villien, apostolic missionary priest of the Society of Mary

My regards and my love to the Reverend fathers of La Favorite, to Father Mulsant and others of the Society.