13 August 1848 — Father Xavier Montrouzier to Father Victor Poupinel, Woodlark
Translated by Mary Williamson, May 2018
Based on the document in Poupinel’s handwriting, APM OMM 208.
Sheet of paper, written on the front side of the page, the reverse side having only Poupinel’s annotation, the document published in Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, XXII (1850), 100.
- [p.2] [In the handwriting of Poupinel]
- Woodlark, 25th April 1848 / Father Montrouzier to his family / Woodlark 13th August 1848 / Father Montrouzier to the procurator.
- [p.1] [in Poupinel’s handwriting]
- Note: the letter from Father Villien, dated from Rook on 10th July, should be read before the small letter that follows.
- [in Poupinel’s handwriting]
- The Reverend Father Montrouzier wrote from Woodlark to the procurator of the Society on 13th August 1848.
- Bishop Collomb has established on Rook the second station, which I spoke to you about. This establishment seems well situated and our Fathers are happy. They have under their care a large and pleasant population whose customs seem to be benign. On the other hand, the Good Lord continues to test us; may his holy name be blessed! Father Frémont has spoken to you about the disastrous state of bishop Collomb’s health. Well! Since he finished the letter and up until the departure of the ship, his illness has progressed further. As the Anonyme stayed in the islands much longer than expected, the food supplies are beginning to diminish considerably; Captain Raballand was not permitted to stay any longer, nor to bring back Bishop Collomb, who could no longer tolerate the sea travel. When he went to say his farewells to the Bishop, the prelate was barely conscious and he had difficulty in speaking. Alas! Will we yet again, a second time, soon be orphans? The Fathers who are on Rook, were so worried by the distressing state to which they saw the Bishop reduced, that they forgot to deliver to Captain Raballand the letters the Bishop had written for the Holy See, the Propagation of the Faith and the Reverend Father Superior General.
- Mr Raballand wishes to assure us that he will return again to visit us. This worthy captain is truly devoted to us and he is a real treasure for our mission. His intrepid nature makes him venture where other sailors, though daring, shudder and would not dare to proceed. This helps us greatly to see into the corners and crannies of our archipelagos. As well, this courageous man acts as a missionary: On Rook, he baptised a baby, who is now in Heaven. Glory be to him and to the Society of Oceania, of which he is one of its worthy representatives.
- As for us, we are always happy with our natives at Woodlark. However, for two months now, the rains are more frequent and the fever is becoming more prevalent. We have two children at the house, one of whom is beginning to read.
- Xavier Montrouzier Society of Mary.
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