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19 September 1853 — Father Xavier Montrouzier to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Balade, New Caledonia

Translated by Peter McConnell, May 2011

Based on the document sent, APM ONC 208 Montrouzier.V

[p. 4]
Au très révérend père § Le très révérend père Colin § à Lyon

[In the handwriting of Poupinel]
Balade 19 September 1853 § Fr Montrouzier to the very reverend Father General

J(esus) M(ary) J(oseph) All through Mary!

To very reverend Fr Colin
Balade 19 September 1853

Very Reverend Father,
I am sad to hear that matters have reached the point that the Reverend Father Superior of the Society of Mary is no longer sending ministers to Oceania. And it is repeated that it’s a done deal, a definitive one and that we are going to abandon the mission stations. Rumours so hurtful to the heart of a missionary perhaps deserve to be deprecated or confirmed positively. Not saying anything is leaving us in a state of uncertainty which has paralysed the courage of the missionaries at Woodlark and would paralyse the spirits of most of us. Yet, very Reverend Father, may God forgive me, I dare ask you for this clear and formal declaration of your intentions. Whatever your decision is, I do not mean to change it nor interfere with it.
I am motivated by a single wish in writing to you these lines: that is to protest that we are often being spoken to when we say nothing. I intended to declare that it was reported that in Oceania disagreement was over the top and that people co-operated only when it was a matter of complaining against authority. That is not right. Perhaps there are characters whom one has not been able to understand and whom one has not appreciated enough; there have been, at least in their opinion, integration and co-operation. There are some malcontents; perhaps there still are. But I have seen plenty of them who feel happy, who bless God continuously for the blessing of their vocation and who give examples capable of edifying those who are totally blinded by the very nature of the system.
To avoid not making myself clear, I assure you, very Reverend Father, that the most perfect unity, charity and simplicity reign in New Caledonia. There are discussions, never arguments. I doubt whether there is in France a single house of the Society of Mary where there is a greater peacefulness. If, when that is said and done, I am numbered without my knowledge among the malcontents in order to swell the numbers, I protest that that is pure calumny.
Very Reverend Father, accept the assurance of deep especial and total devotion with which I am your very humble and very obedient child,
Xavier Montrouzier
Apostolic missionary
Society of Mary