From Marist Studies
Fr JFR Pestre (Provincial) to Fr C Cognet (Superior of Maori Mission), Christchurch, 5 April 1895
Translated by Brian Quin, February 2002
- AMDG et DGH
- 5 April 1895
- Reverend and very dear Father Cognet
- Your explanations in the matter of the accounts seem now to me to be sufficient. Thank you for the details you have given about the success of your work at Waitara and the surrounding district. They have really interested me. It is clear that God is blessing it and perhaps is opening up for you there a vast field for your zeal.
- In my letter, which left in the last consignment for San Francisco, I asked ? ?? superiors for one or two helpers for you. If they listen to my request, you will soon have what you need to bring your plans to fruition.
- As for the plans of His Grace the Archbishop, I know nothing at all about them. Will he give an assistant priest to Fr McKenna? Will he give a new parish to [make a new parish at? – translator’s note] Stratford or elsewhere? Will he offer us some centre of operation in this district? Etc etc. I know absolutely nothing about it. His Grace is usually not very communicative in matters concerning his administration, and contents himself with talking with his Vicar-General. Each time I have wanted to ask him some questions on this or similar subjects, he visibly avoids replying and entering a discussion. It’s not exactly a lack of good will; rather it’s that he is not ready to give a solution and he doesn’t like to commit himself to anything. However, I will keep your letter, and when the occasion presents itself, I will draw from it all possible fruit. In the meantime, keep on gleaning the ….. which God sends you, and let us pray to the Blessed Mother to prepare the way for this great work. When the providential time comes, she will very well know how to dispose everything for the best. His Grace will certainly be the first to favour this mission, as soon as we can show him that we are up to undertaking it. In the meantime, if you can, little by little, put aside some pounds sterling; they will be very useful to help you establish yourself when the time comes. You have, no doubt, heard it said that the confreres in the province are proposing [se proposent – or, could it be se préparent – are getting ready – translator’s note] to send an expression of their love and loyalty to Very Reverend Father General on the occasion of his jubilee of religious profession. On this matter, I am sending all the confreres a copy of the circular letter which you will find included with this letter. Your poverty and your situation as a Maori missioner will dispense you from any money offering, but at least you will be kept up to date in the matter, and you will be able to join the others in intention.
- Pray for me, Reverend and very dear Father Cognet, and always rely on my most affectionate feelings for you.
- Your very devoted servant in JMJ
- J F R Pestre