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2 October 1847 - Father Joseph Mériais to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Wallis

Based on the document sent, APM OW 208 Mériais.

Sheet of paper forming four pages, of which two are written on, the third remaining blank, the fourth having only the address.

Translated by Mary Williamson, December 2011.

France • to the Reverend • the Reverend Father Superior General • of the Society of Mary • Lyon.
Jesus Mary Joseph
Wallis 2nd October 1847
Very Reverend Father
I cannot have Mr Marceau leave me without giving him a letter for you, in which I want to express to you how much he has earned our communal gratitude. In speaking to you about his qualities and virtues I will not be telling you anything that you do not already know; it would take a long time to recount to you his kind and generous conduct towards us during our crossing from France to Oceania. Let it suffice to say that Mr Marceau has been greatly appreciated wherever he has become known; Everywhere, he has left evidence of his passing which honour him and which, above all, glorify our religion. In all our missions in Oceania he has preached by example and often by his words, to these poor people who are not, as yet, in a position to understand just how much enthusiasm and devotion religion can inspire in a Christian heart animated by a lively faith. May they come to understand it in the future!
It is not my responsibility to express an opinion on the future of the society of which he has been the representative in Oceania. I can only speak about what I have seen. − Every missionary, especially in the current state of affairs, needs to be able to correspond with his superiors in Europe and with those in Oceania. − Some of them sometimes have an urgent need to receive help in coping with their existence. − It is helpful for a religious worker [p.2] to not be too burdened with cares of a temporal nature. When this concern about temporal things becomes unimportant, expenses are reduced, and so it follows that the resources of each missionary are augmented somewhat. − So if Mr Marceau has already been able, in his first voyage, to offer these divers services to the missions that he has visited, it is to be expected that, with the Society prospering, improving even on the experience which it could not have had at the start, it will contribute to the extension of the Catholic religion; and so we can only approve, encourage and assist its development.
I leave to our superiors the task of judging the situation in the wider sense; I only wish to express my personal opinion to you and I place that well below whatever will have been said to you from other sources.
Along with this letter, Mr Marceau will give another for Mr Marziou, to whom I felt that I really should write; I would like you to acquaint yourself with the contents and not send it on to his address unless you yourself judge it appropriate.
I am, my Very Reverend Father, with the deepest respect,
Your very humble and obedient servant,
Joseph Mériais
Missionary apostolic, Society of Mary.
Mr Marceau has such an intimate knowledge of the religious community of the Society of Mary in Oceania that he can reply to any questions that you might consider suitable to ask him, for our specific and general wellbeing.

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