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23 May 1854, Father Jean-Louis Rocher to Father Victor Poupinel, Sydney

Translated by Sr Marie Challacombe SM, October 2014.

Sydney 23 May 1854
Reverend Father
On 19th of this month I received the duplicate of your letter of February 4 which informs me about a letter of exchange for £784.6.3 sterling. I hope I will soon receive the original as well as copies of the last grants from the Holy Father.
Thank you very much for substituting the Univers for the Ami de la religion. For a long time now that paper has made dull reading, and as you rightly says, it was not very submissive to Roman doctrines.
I wrote recently to Fr Yardin. My last letter written a month ago told him that I had put a box addressed to him marked 2 AC on board the French boat Éclair going directly to Le Havre. This chest contains insects, shells and other objects of curiosity.
For yourself you will find a sandalwood desk which I ask you to accept from me.
I shall write to Fr Yardin very soon. Meanwhile, please tell him that I have received his letter of March 4 and letters for Brothers Peloux and Mallet. As soon as I receive the £800 sterling that he told me about, I will let him know.
Three boats have come in from the islands, one from Caledonia, Ile des Pins; the others from Futuna and the Navigators. I haven’t been able to get my letters yet. I hope the post will deliver them tomorrow.
From the passengers coming in from Caledonia I learnt that Frs. Frémont and Thomassin had a good journey, that all the fathers in Caledonia are well and that Brother Prosper who had been very ill is much better.
The same passenger told me that Fr Frémont was going to leave for Ile des Pins to replace Fr Chapuy needed in Balade with his lithograph. Fr Thomassin will be companion to Fr Montrouzier.
From another passenger arriving from the Navigators I learnt that Bishop Bataillon is much better and is waiting for an opportunity to go to Wallis. The fathers in the Navigators are well. The natives are still at war.
I am asking you again for a full game of boules, that is to say 12 boules. You have probably forgotten. Please ask Fr Yardin to get some and send them to us as soon as possible. You can’t find them in Sydney, and moreover the wood here is worthless and the price they would ask for turning them would be enormous.
As my eyesight is deteriorating I had asked you to get the breviary for me in four volumes. If the two volume edition was in big print I would prefer that. And if all the feasts of our Society could be found in it. At the same time please send us a missal and a few pretty bouquets for our chapel.
Fr Trapenard, and also Fr Favier, needs a breviary, as well as the one for me that I have asked you for. Please put in three or four copies because they often ask for one in the islands. You could put the lot on my account.
I would also be very grateful if you could send me some copies of the Ordo. Then, if there is any room left in the chest send us some interesting books.
Farewell, reverend father, pray for me always.
Your very humble and most obedient servant,
Marist priest
So that papers and letters come directly to me, here is my address:
The Rev. Fr. Rocher
Catholic Clergyman.
Ryde Sydney
New South Wales