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Fr JFR Pestre (Provincial) to Fr C Cognet (Superior of Maori Mission), Wellington, 10 June 1895

Translated by Brian Quin, February 2002


Wellington 10 June 1895

Reverend and very dear Father

Ah, how right you are! How true it is that this world’s joys are never unmixed! We have proof of it every day. I won’t go back over what Fr Soulas did about your Maori books. One knows where one stands in Lyons, and elsewhere as well. The only thing left to do is to entrust the matter to Providence.

Don’t worry about the monstrance. You will find enclosed the cheque to pay Fr Aubry for it. Send it to him, and I undertake to fix up the matter with Fr Soulas.

As for the amount owing to Fr Kirk, don’t worry about that either. I hope to see him soon and I will settle the matter with him. As soon as you see him or write to him you can tell him. It’s easy to get on with Fr Kirk. So, your two clouds have disappeared; may their storm never gather again over your head.

The details you give me about your travels among the Maori are really full of interest and consolation. Go on cultivating this part of the Lord’s vineyard. With these new conversions, fill in the gap left by so many others, who through monstrous ingratitude, renounce the privilege of their holy vocation. Take no notice at all of the false reports that people send you from Otaki or elsewhere. Throw them into the water, since, at New Plymouth, you are near the sea.

It’s possible that we may meet at Otaki towards the end of June. However, I don’t know yet at what time I will go through there, as I don’t know when the examinations will take place at Meanee. Besides, Fr Cummings, from Christchurch, has promised me to spend a day with me there, and I don’t know yet when he will come. I have received from Lyons, to be sent on to you, a panorama of Lyons. I will take it to Otaki. If you have already left when I get there, I will send it to you at New Plymouth.

Please excuse me. When I got back from Christchurch, I found a host of letters, more or less urgent; I have to give some time to each.

Always be assured, very dear Fr Cognet, of my most affectionate esteem.

Your very devoted servant in JMJ
J F R Pestre

PS I have just learned of the death of Fr Yves-Marie Morice, at Lyons, and of Brother Gabriel Lazardelle, at La Seyne. Ora pro eis [pray for them]. Please tell me you have received the cheque, with a postcard.