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11 September 1847 — Fr Léopold Verguet to Fr Jean-Claude Colin, Sydney

Translated by Peter McConnell, July 2010

Sydney, 11 Sep. 1847
Very Reverend Father,
On leaving New Zealand I am informing you of the repugnance I feel in going to the mission station of Saint Christoval. I accompanied Bishop Collomb as far as New Caledonia. My feelings being still the same there, I begged Father Rougeyron to allow me to help him with the New Caledonians. I informed him of my arrangements with Father Frémont and the freedom I had to return to France. I proposed to complete the ten years of ministry in that mission station, which I have spoken to you about. Father Rougeyron agreed to have me. All I have to do now is to inform the bishop of my intentions and as the bishop couldn’t oppose it since I had the permission of the Father provincial, I considered myself to be pretty much an attaché to the mission station of New Caledonia.
Unfortunately the day after my conversation with Father Rougeyron there was an attack on the mission station at Baïao and two days later bishop Collomb came to take refuge at Poébo, where as you know it was decided that we should abandon New Caledonia.
The wickedness and perfidy of the natives on this occasion is so abhorrent to me that I am determined to use the dispensation that I have to return to France. I let Bishop Collomb leave for the island of Saint Christoval which he has probably reached after a passage of five days. I am now on board the corvette La Brillante in sight of the Sydney harbour which we hope to enter tomorrow.
I intend borrowing some money there and leave for France as soon as I can.
I think that Father Frémont summed me up perfectly when he informed me that I was of no value to the religious life and I hope that you will be good enough to allow me to work for my salvation in the first kind of ministry that I had at first embraced and from which I have departed a little too slowly.
I have the honour of being, very reverend father, your very humble servant,
Léopold Verguet
Society of Mary.

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