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2 July 1848 - Father Jean-Louis Rocher to Father Victor Poupinel, Sydney

Translated by Mary Williamson, August 2017

Based on the document sent, APM OP 458 Rocher.

Folded sheet of paper, forming four pages, three of which are written on, the fourth having only Poupinel’s annotation.

Sydney 2nd July 1848.

To the Reverend Father Poupinel.

My Reverend Father,
It was on the 18th of last month that we learned that Louis Philippe had fled and that France had become a republic. No use telling you here the pain that we felt at such news. What has happened to the Society? And what will happen to our missions? These are our great concerns.
From the newspapers in Sydney, we are up to date with all that has happened in Paris from 22nd February to 12th March. But we know nothing yet of Lyon and its different departments. We impatiently await your letters.
In spite of this unexpected upheaval, I feel confident that my letter of 4th April will have reached you. It informed you of my receipt of your letters of 1st, 14th and 26th October 1847, in which I found the original and the duplicate of the letter of credit for ₤236 sterling, plus the original of another letter of credit for ₤314,16,0 sterling on the account of Mr Mallet.
Today I can tell you that I have received Father Dubreul’s letter of 21st December in which I found the original of the credit note in our favour for ₤312, 18, 4 sterling.
Nothing, my Reverend Father, gives us more pleasure than to receive such letters, enclosing the originals of credit letters in our favour. May you send more of them for a long time! I greatly fear for the future.
I have also received your letters of 14th and 21st January 1848, in which I found the duplicates of the letter of credit for ₤312, 18, 4 as well as our current account settled on 31st December 1847 and settled with a balance in our favour of 9,392 francs 70 centimes.
I can only thank you very much for all the trouble you go to for us. I pray to Mary, our communal mother, to reward you.
The draft for 5000 francs that Father Chaurain had mentioned to the Very Reverend Father Superior did not come to pass. As the procurator’s funds were greatly diminished by the arrival of the missionaries from New Caledonia, Father Chaurain, fearing to later find himself without money, wrote to the Very Reverend Father Superior that, considering the position of the procurator, he could perhaps find himself forced to write a draft. But fortunately this did not come to pass.
We have not yet received the money that you told us about in your letter of 21st January for the account of the Central mission and the mission of Melanesia.
If the Society of Oceania, considering the current state of affairs in France, cannot support the small ships that currently visit the missions, I do not really know how I will pass on the money that you have informed me about, to Bishop Collomb. All these massacres that have taken place in the islands have frightened the captains of the ships from Sydney, so that now they are not at all keen to go there. It is only an exorbitant price that would give then a bit more courage. So I do not know if we will be able to succeed.
I am very grateful, my dear colleague, for the news that you give me of my family. If you should have the chance to see them, please tell them that I am in good health and that I am going to write to them during this month.
Since I learned of the revolution in France, I no longer have the courage to continue the account of my voyage in Oceania. I am waiting for the result of this famous assembly of 900 citizens called together in Paris for last April 20th.
Since this change in the state of affairs, we assume that Bishop Douarre will not be able to leave in a State vessel and that he will have been obliged to come via London. So we will probably have the pleasure of seeing His Lordship in Sydney.
We have no news of the Stella del Maris and we have not received any news from our missions. We endlessly wait for news of Mr Marceau and consequently of the situation of our colleagues in New Caledonia.
The brig Anonyme, which went to visit bishop Collomb, has not yet returned and we only expect it in two or three months.
All our colleagues in New Zealand are well. We correspond with them frequently. Nearly every month we send them things from Sydney.
My respects to the Reverend Father Lagniet. Please let him know that I have

received the letters that he has been kind enough to write me and that I will reply to him by the next ship.

My respects to Father Dubreul and all my colleagues.
Your very humble and
very obedient servant,
missionary priest.

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