From Marist Studies
1 & 6 August 1848 — Father Jean-Louis Rocher to Father Victor Poupinel, Sydney
Based on the document sent, APM OP 458 Rocher.
Folded sheet of paper, forming four written pages, the fourth having also the annotation of Poupinel.
Translated by Mary Williamson, March 2018
- [p.4] [in Poupinel’s handwriting]
- Sydney 1st August 1848 / the Reverend Father Rocher.
- Sydney 1st August 1848
- To the Reverend Father Poupinel
- My Reverend Father
- We received your letters of 20th February and 27th March on 20th July, as well as that of Father Dubreul from 6th February, in which we have found several letters of credit: The first for ₤781/5/5 on the Commercial Bank of Sydney. The second for ₤579/10/10 on the Union Bank of Australia. And the third for ₤1,309/1/8 on the Commercial Bank of Sydney. Following your instructions, we have placed in the account of each mission the amount assigned to it!
- We have learned with the greatest of pleasure that the Society has suffered no problems in the midst of the upheavals that are troubling France at the moment. May she be safe for a long time yet, that is what we are asking of God every day with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.
- Every time, dear colleague, that you have a moment to spare, please keep us up to date with matters regarding the Society and the clergy in general. As for politics, the newspapers in Sydney tell us enough about that. Up till now, we are up to date with everything that is happening in Europe up till 30th April.
- In Sydney we are waiting every day for the arrival of Bishop Douarre. We think that, in the current circumstances, His Lordship will have decided to come via London. It is very annoying that the letter from the Very Reverend Father Superior addressed to our colleagues from New Caledonia did not arrive sooner. They would have all still been at the procurator’s, but as you know, they left Sydney on 20th April, setting sail for port Saint Vincent in New Caledonia.
- According to a letter that I received the day before yesterday from Father Roudaire, it would seem that our colleagues have not been able to establish themselves in Caledonia. I know nothing about the reason. This letter suggests there is another, full of details, that they have sent me on the ship the Leocardie that belongs to the Society of Oceania, but I have not yet received this letter.
- The letter of the day before yesterday is dated 13th July from the island of Annatom in the New Hebrides. Without repeating a word of the first letter, this good Father begins thus: “Nothing new in our position, if not that we took possession yesterday of our house, even though it is not yet fully organised. We have found a small spring of clear water and a small stone quarry nearby. Several of us, as well as some young Caledonians have suffered a slight illness. I myself am writing to you in my bed with my pad on my knees, but all these little trials will not, I hope, have any repercussions. Farewell, I must stop as the ship is about to leave.”
- Our colleagues on board the Stella del Mare are with them; I know this because Father Goujon, who I knew in Belley, wishes you good day in this same letter. As soon as I have more details, I will hasten to share them with you.
- We have not received any news from our other missions.
- We are very happy that you have found in your coffers enough to honour this draft of Father Chaurain’s from 26th October. You have delivered us, I can assure you, from a great anxiety. Pleas accept our very sincere thanks.
- I am confident that my letter of 1st July has reached you. It informs you that we received letters from 1st, 14th and 26th October 1847 and 14th and 21st January 1848, that you addressed to us.
- We have also received the journal of the Propagation of the Faith for the month of January.
- Sydney 6th August.
- The Léocardie arrived the day before yesterday. All our colleagues in the Hebrides are quite well and find their new situation perfectly peaceful. They have bought a fine plot of land from the chiefs and the land is very extensive and very fertile.
- The reason they did not settle in Caledonia is that Port Saint Vincent offers no resources of any kind.
- It is the Léocardie that transported the missionaries of the Stella del Mare to the Hebrides. This ship left directly for China from Samoa, having left Bishop Collomb’s missionaries on these islands. It is Bishop Bataillon’s schooner, the Clara, that is bringing them to Sydney. We expect them at the procurator’s in about two months time.
- The ship that is bringing you this letter has also a bundle of letters addressed to the Very Reverend Father Superior. These are from the missionaries on the Hebrides. That is why I am not giving you any more details about the mission there. Fathers Rougeyron and Roudaire will be more able than me to bring you up to date with their affairs.
- One of the Sisters on board the Stella del Mare died in Samoa, after three days of illness.
- Goodbye my Reverend Father, please write as often as possible and pray for us.
- Your very humble and obedient servant,
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