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22 April 1853 - Father Philippe Calinon to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Tahiti

Translated by Peter McConnell, April 2011

[p. 1]

J(esus) M(ary) J(oseph) Tahiti 22 April 1853.

Very Reverend Father,
I suppose that you are au fait with news from Tonga, seeing I have written about it in October from Tahiti, in January from Sydney and in March or April from Tahiti. You have received some undoubtedly from other sources than mine. I don’t know what is happening in Tonga since November when I left but I must be pessimistic about it. Here, hey can’t have worse relationships with us. It is an organized system of persecution and they seem to be sorry that they can’t persecute us even more. Yet because of excessive behaviour they will end up causing truth to be known because they are attacking other mission stations than our ones.
Bataillon, the bishop of Tahiti, has had to leave for France to take his case to lay at the very feet of the emperor himself. I guess he will arrive as soon as this letter does. His address is the Major Seminary at Versailles. The prelate knows our business; he is bringing documents concerning our affairs; other documents will follow him. He is very keen to meet up with Bishop Bataillon to present a united front in pleading their cases. I am writing to him (to Bishop Bataillon) at every opportunity to keep him in touch and to urge him to get going. I don’t know whether he gets my letters. As for me, I am staying at the bishop’s palace with the only priest who is in Tahiti; I work at the Ministry in the colony; I feel the atmosphere of governmental bureaucracy. Do write to me and tell me everything you would like. Courage and confidence in Mary --- Your very devoted child in Our Lord and Mary.
Missionary priest.