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Fr Rozet to Fr Garin, Opotiki, 26 March 1842

APM Z208 28 March 1842

Translated by Fr Brian Quin SM, June 2005

Opotiki, 28 March 1842
Very dear Father
The time of adversity has come for me. A favourable wind no longer swells the sails of my flimsy skiff, but a boisterous storm has been unleashed against (it). I am ready to suffer a very sorry shipwreck and to see everything my barque contains buried in error. Already the waves of heresy have submerged a great number of my passengers. How sad it is, dear Father, how sad it is to see the wolf get into the sheepfold and devour one’s finest sheep and finest lambs; for, it must be faced, it is the best who are abandoning our water, so pure and true, in order to run and slake their burning thirst in the pestiferous torrents of error. These poor children are leaving us they say with sorrow, but we have no books to give them. They go over to the side of the enemy in all their simplicity and not a fortnight goes by before they are wicked and insolent, because our heretics[1] have the devilish talent of corrupting and changing the best characters. Consider whether in the dismantling of my poor mission I can still have a joyful heart. If I had a confrère to console me, and at this time I admire the wisdom of the Reverend Father [p2] General, and I realise from my own experience how important it is to be two.[2] There are times when I am almost in despair and my virtue is too weak to stay in this position. I think I will lose my soul.
As for the rule, when I am not on the move,[3] there in only one point I have not yet been able to put into practice – that is rising at four or five o’clock. The rest I can do. When I am travelling I do not practise it, because it fairly often happens to me even to leave out my breviary.
If money came to the house[4] I think it would be very important that you visited the different stations. For myself, I would be overwhelmed with joy to see you as long as possible. Your presence would ease my difficulties and worries.
Please excuse my scribble, but I am very busy, because the few natives whom I still have are pressing me to write the great prayer for them.[5] I am obsessed with it.
Please accept, Reverend Father, the assurances of respect and affection of him who has the honour to call himself
Your very humble and obedient servant
Louis Rozet, novice[6]
Opotiki, 28 march 1842


  1. Protestant - translator’s note
  2. Colin’s insistence that his men, as religious, be able to live in community was one of the main problems he had with Bishop Pompallier, who scattered the Marists singly - translator’s note
  3. lorsque je ne suis pas en course
  4. the Procure, presumably - translator’s note
  5. de leur écrire la grande prière – I am not sure what is meant by the great prayer - translator’s note
  6. Re his signing himself “novice”. Father Louis Rozet came out from France with the fourth dispatch of Marist missionaries – arrived in Bay of Islands June 1841. he was a diocesan priest – but interested in becoming a Marist. He left New Zealand in 1853, was professed in 1854, but remained as a Marist in France, dying in 1884.