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4 October 1847. − Father Joseph Mériais to Father Victor Poupinel, Wallis

Translated by Mary Williamson, December 2011.

Based on the document sent, APM OW 208 Mériais.

Sheet of paper written on both sides.

Jesus Mary Joseph
Wallis 4th October 1847.

My Very Reverend Father,
The French Society of Oceania having, in the future, to provision, annually, the missions of the apostolic curacy of Bishop Battalion, the task of preparing the equipment for the missionaries departing for this curacy rests with you. It is understood that the goods provided at the time of departure should be sufficient to equip each person; but the Bishop wishes you to spare no effort in seeing that everything is sound and clean; then, all in all there will be savings.
Each missionary needs a set of linen, the necessary objects for celebrating mass and a library, all packed in strong trunks. − Most of our things were broken on arrival.
A small library is indispensable and each missionary regrets not having brought the books that were available to him in France, theologies − bibles − ecclesiastical history − early authors − some books on meditation and piety − liturgies.
It is appropriate to send suitable church ornaments. A large number of the last despatch have been set aside. Sacred vessels in silver where possible, as well as a processional cross, a censer, a font, a ciborium, a monstrance.
The missionaries having arrived here well equipped, the Fathers and Brothers having whatever is suited to their needs, the mission undertakes to visit the various establishments each year and deliver the provisions necessary to feed and clothe them. The ship’s captain will know what he needs to have on board and how he needs to distribute it. Each missionary will know too, what is destined for him; the various goods will be delivered by the passing ship, which will travel via the missions when going fromTahiti to Sydney or Sydney to Tahiti; only clothing will come to the curacy centre to be made there and returned to the missionaries the following year.
This method of delivery will take place from a time you agree to with Mr Marceau. Until then continue, as in the past, to despatch goods when the ship leaves and send them to the mission centre.

Please accept, my Reverend Father, the assurance of my respect
and my sincere devotion,
Joseph Mériais,
Missionary apostolic, Society of Mary.
At the moment I am writing some letters which will arrive on the Arche d’Alliance. These will be despatched on the schooner of the Bishop who is going to Tahiti.

[Note added by Benoît Lagniet after receiving letters in France]

I have received your two letters thank you. I will carry out your requests. We are enjoying a peaceful time here L.[1]


  1. This last paragraph (I have received − peaceful time here. L.) is in the handwriting of Benoît Lagniet. Jean Coste, former archivist, identified the author (L) writing it in in pencil: [Lagniet]

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