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October 1847 - Bishop Jean-Georges Collomb to Father Jacques-Marie Crozet, Woodlark

Translated by Mary Williamson, June 2013

Based on the document sent, APM OMM 411.

Small sheet of “Bath” paper, forming four pages of which three are written on, the address being written at the bottom of the first page. The addressee is Father Jacques-Marie Crozet, curate of Notre-Dame, Montbrison, from 1829 to 1858 (cf. Vachet, p. 673).

[p.1 Address]
To the curate of Notre Dame, Montbrizon.

Woodlark, October 1847.

I have the painful duty of informing you of the death of the Father Jacquet, your former vicar, who left at the end of 1845 for the missions in Melanesia and Micronesia.
He suffered the fate of a martyr. On 20th April of this year he was massacred with his colleague, Rev. Fr Paget and our dear Br Hyacinthe [1] by the people of a tribe whose territory they were passing through. They were going to visit another group of people amongst whom there was some hope of establishing a new community on my return from a trip to Sydney. It was on the island of San Cristobal, where you no doubt know that the colleagues of Bishop Epalle, my predecessor, established themselves after this venerable prelate’s death, that the drama took place, an event that deprived us of these two Fathers and this Brother, all of them deserving of our most heartfelt regrets.
On the preceding 19th March Father Jacquet had taken his religious vows; he counted himself fortunate to be a missionary under the banner of the Mother of God. The colleagues who have survived him continue to praise his gentle piety, his perfect reliability, his devotion, the thoughtfulness of his behaviour and his prudence.
I very much relied on him for the wellbeing of the mission; his death is one of my greatest sorrows. Nevertheless, may God be praised; may His will be done in all things.
I hope that you will be kind enough, Sir, to inform the parents of this worthy priest of the sad news that this letter contains.
As there may be need for the death certificate, I have made sure to put it in with my letter.
I hope that the death of Fr Jacquet, far from discouraging those who might be thinking of leaving to join our mission, will simply inspire in them a new enthusiasm; it is essential that the places left empty be filled again, what do I mean? To really make some solid progress in these islands, in my vast mission in particular, we need legions of apostles and at the moment I have with me only three priests more or less unwell; circumstances obliged us to leave San Cristobal and come and pitch our tent on the island of Woodlark, which is to the north of Louisiade, at latitude south 9° and longitude east 151° and a few minutes.
The fate of my colleagues, called so early to eternal rest, would make us envious, if we did not know of one thing even more precious than heaven itself, if it is possible to recognise such things and that is the accomplishment of God’s will.
Please Sir, pray for us and have others pray for us too; our needs surpass anything you could possibly imagine.
Allow me to express my gratitude to those who, in 1845, sent vestments and other goods to the Rev. Fr Jacquet; it is a blessing for our mission.
I will take advantage of the first possible opportunity to send you some items in memory of our dear departed.
I have the honour to be Sir,
Your very humble servant,
Jean-Georges [Collomb], Bishop of Antiphelles,
Vicar apostolic of Melanesia and Micronesia.


  1. Frs Claude Jacquet and Jean-Marie Paget and Br Hyacinthe (Joseph Châtelet)) cf. doc. 674, § 5 – 10; 681, § 2 -3).

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