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Fr Poupinel to Fr Petit, Lyons, 8 November 1850

Translated by Fr Brian Quin SM, February 2006

APM Z 208 8 November 1850

Lyons, 8 November 1850
To the Reverend Father Petit, missionary of the Society of Mary, New Zealand
Reverend Father
Very Reverend Father Superior General has received your letter in which you asked for some advice concerning your position in the Hokianga. As he finds himself overburdened with various matters and wants to leave Lyons for two months, before he left he gave me the responsibility of writing to you on his behalf what follows.
If serious reasons were obliging you to come back to France, the Society of Mary would welcome you with all that eagerness which the apostolic zeal of one of its children would in any case deserve. But at the same time the Father General invites you to think that the distance which separates you from us is very considerable, that you can still convert souls, that being in a country in so much need of priests, your departure would do it harm, and you would not be able to be replaced without great expense and a considerable loss of time. So he cannot advise you over your return to Europe, as much as your spiritual welfare might demand it.[1] In the event that you decided to go on with your apostolic work, his Paternity wants you to go and join Bishop Viard and place yourself at the disposal of Reverend Father Forest, who has been named Provincial. [p2]
You will allow me, Reverend Father, to end my letter here, because, apart from being fully occupied with my regular work, I am going to work during this month on preparing the annual circular letter on what has happened in the Society, and through that you will have all the news.
Be so kind as to accept the assurance of deep respect with which I have the honour to be, in union with your Holy Sacrifices,[2]
of your Reverence,
Reverend Father,
the very humble and obedient servant
V Poupinel S M
You have no doubt learned that Reverend Father Maîtrepierre has been seriously ill for a long time, that we though he was lost to us. Suddenly he was found to be better, and the improvement has been sustained. Your sister, who is at Wimille [sic], has written to us several times because she is worried at not having received any letters from you.


  1. Il nepeut donc vous conseiller votre rentrée en Europe
  2. of the Mass - translator’s note