Jean-Baptiste Comte

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From THE FIRST WAVE OF FRENCH MARISTS by Michael O'Meeghan SM, 2008, 14.

JEAN-BAPTISTE COMTE, aged 27 (on arrival in New Zealand in Group III on 9 Dec Jun 1839).

He began learning Maori in the Hokianga. On 31 July 1840 he left the Bay of Islands on the Aube for Akaroa where he arrived on 16 August to begin a mission among Maori. The results were discouraging so he left Akaroa on 16 March 1842 to return to Kororareka. He accompanied Pompallier when the bishop left the Bay of Islands in mid-February 1844 for a visit down East Coast, and was left at Wellington about the end of March to assist Fr O’Reily with the care of Maori. Later in the year he shifted his base to Waikawa and by 1845 had settled at Otaki. There he built up a thriving Catholic community with its own school, flour mill, extensive gardens with a small ship to carry produce to Wellington. He was a victim of his own achievements for he came to feel their commercial success was undermining his sense of priestly values. Towards the end of 1854 he resigned his post, left the Marists, and returned to France. He died as parish priest on 14 January 1899, aged 86.

Comte S.M., Jean-Baptiste

Born 25/01/1812 Silcuzin, Siauges-St-Romain, Haute Loire

Died 14/01/1899 Bourbon-L'Archambault, Allier, France

Ordination 13/03/1838

Profession 19/05/1839

  • 18380714 entered the Society of Mary
  • 18391209 Bay of Islands from Sydney on Martha
  • 18400109 left Kororareka for Hokianga LRO doc 54
  • 18400110 arrived Hokianga LRO doc 54
  • 18400730 sailed on l'Aube from Bay of Islands to Akaroa LRO doc 70
  • 18400815-18420315 Akaroa
  • 184011 accompanied Pompallier on Sancta Maria to visit Otago Maori
  • 18420316 left Akaroa for Auckland on l'Aube; arrive 18420326; stayed 2 weeks in Auckland LRO doc 155
  • 184020516 leave Kororareka for Maketu LRO doc 173
  • 184210 Opotiki LRO doc 202
  • 184306 Whakatane LRO doc 263
  • 18431125 Kororareka LRO doc 287
  • 184402- Wellington LRO doc 313
  • 18440523 first baptism at Otaki - Otaki sacramental register
  • 1845 by June has been to Tauranga / Rotorua LRO doc 374 written from Wellington
  • 1846 by mid-June Otaki - Patricia Adams Historic Places March 1986 p.5

  • 1853 dispensed from vows according to profession register LRO doc 1342
  • 1854 by May no longer at Otaki LRO doc 1342
  • 18541202 left Wellington for Nelson on Mountain Maid
  • 18541211 left Nelson with Francis Redwood on Mountain Maid for Sydney
  • 18541223 arrive Sydney
  • 18550113 left Sydney for London on Lady Ann
  • 18550518 arrived at Lyon Poupinel doc 329

incardinated into Diocese of Moulins

  • 1857-1859 Bourbon-l'Archambault, Huriel, Varennes-sur-Allier – assistant
  • 1859-1866 Vichy – assistant
  • 1866-1885 chaplain at Hospice de Gayette Montoldre
  • ?-1897 Cusset

  • 1894 Claude Cognet visited him during his trip to France to publish prayer book
  • 1897-1899 Bourbon-l'Archambault

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