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15 July 1854 - Brother Joseph-Xavier (Jean-Marie Luzy) to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Sydney

Translated by Sr Marie Challacombe SM, July 2015

[At the top of the page in an unknown hand]
Br Joseph Luzy – accepts to remain in the procure since he has not been given permission to return to France.

Villamaria, Sydney, 15 July 1854
J(esus) M(ary) J(oseph)

Very Reverend Father,
Please forgive me if I take the liberty of addressing these few lines to you. It’s a duty which I do not undertake often enough. It is following the retreat which we have just made that I tell you of my feelings, and as I know that you always welcome news of your children, I am not afraid to open my heart to you. As Fr Rocher has shared with me the letter you sent to him, that is to say that you have had the kindness to send for me, Reverend Father, I will not hide from you that I was somewhat hurt; but your will be done, not mine. I know that this will also be God’s will. I was only hoping for a suitable time to return to France, either with Bishop Bataillon or another trustworthy person. If I haven’t gone, that is the only reason why not, since you had given me the permission, and also if I had gone any sooner it would not have pleased Father Rocher. He had really let me know what he wanted. He told me to wait until Brother Genade arrived, that I couldn’t leave before then. So it was since then that I could have left if I had had the chance. Well God did not will it, may his holy will be done. I will stay as long as you like, although I would have been very happy to see home again.
I will not tell you, Reverend Father, about my health, although I have no strength and am not very robust. I don’t suffer as I did in the islands. If it wasn’t on account of ill-health, I would have preferred the islands I came from rather than the procure. Time would not have hung so heavy on me. But it is useless to think about that, the sickness was so terrible there. Some of the Fathers suffer a lot, also the brothers. But God will reward them, they could perhaps also come and rest in the procure. However if I am not much use in the procure for one thing, I might be of some good for something else later on, one never knows what God has in mind, there could be some changes after this.
From time to time some of the natives come from the centre embarking without any idea of where they are going; or else others are carried off from their islands by wicked captains, who make slaves of them, because these poor natives don’t know what to do until they learn to speak, after that they become wicked, and sometimes, if on the contrary we find them, Fr Rocher tries to send them back if the mission schooner is leaving for their islands. And they are very happy, and so am I if they are able to return home and be saved from such misery. We have two natives here that Fr Rocher is very pleased with. And I like them very much. There is the son of the second chief in Tonga who is very nice and has a lot going for him. If he had spent a few years at the Hermitage he would have made a good brother and would have given good service on his return to the establishment that the bishop has set up in Futuna. I don’t know if the bishop will take him back with him when he leaves.
Good bye, Very Reverend father, please do not forget me in your prayers. I greet you and embrace you in the holy hearts of Jesus and Mary. And I am your devoted and humble servant for life,
Luzy, b(rother) J(oseph) X(avier), your far away child.