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21 August 1847 – Bishop Jean-Georges Collomb to Father Jean-Claude Colin (2), New Caledonia

Based on the document sent, APM OMM 411 Collomb.

Small leaf of paper, measuring 207x160 mm, folded to form four pages, three of which are written on.

Translated by Mary Williamson, June 2011.


Brillante - port of Ballade, 21st August 1847.
Praise God! Another sacrifice is asked of me and it seems to me enormous; I would greatly fear the consequences if I did not remind myself that the Lord will let me know, or put right, even to our greater advantage, the effects of what I would be tempted to call a scandal, the scandal of failed vocations.
Rev. Fr Verguet is leaving me to go on my own to San Cristobal; he is leaving with the other Fathers, intending, he says to stop with them at Anatome for five years, if they settle themselves there, which I do not believe; otherwise he will return to France to re-enter, given your permission, the secular clergy.
The whole reason for this decision, he says, is his distaste for the missions, especially for ours and also for the religious life, into which, he asserts, he has entered without vocation and solely to come to the missions, of which he is now entirely disenchanted. It seems that he did not have the imagination to sufficiently reflect upon such a serious decision. He claims that Rev. Fr Frémont gave him verbal permission to leave on the first available occasion. As for me, I neither gave it to him nor refused it, because he did not ask me.
Since our departure from Sydney he has never spoken to me about this matter. I even believed that on arriving here he intended to follow me.
It is in front of the others, both Fathers and Brothers and even once in front of Mr du Bouzet that he has loudly indicated his intention not to return to San Cristobal. I was forced to approach him myself in order to have a private discussion with him; it was to no avail.
He assures me and he has said the same to Rev. Fr Rougeyron that he has no criticism to make about me. In fact I have always tried to show myself amiable and considerate towards him. I do not recall ever having asked him to do things without asking him politely; I was fond of him and held him in esteem. I have often repeated to him that I would consult with him so as to place him according to his wishes and I would do everything possible to provide my missionaries with whatever they felt was necessary.
Since he wishes to leave me, despite all my persuasions, there is nothing else I can do but offer to God this sacrifice, as with any other and pray for him, the same as for myself, which I will do with all my heart.
His relationship with me and mine with him have never ceased to be very warm and very friendly.
May the Divine Master see that we meet each other again and forever in Heaven.
Oh! How important it is to complete a good novitiate before leaving for the missions.
Jean-Georges, Bishop of Antiphelles,
Vicar apostolic of Melanesia and Micronesia.

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