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30 November 1869 – Father Antoine Séon to Father Victor Poupinel, Wellington

APM 2406-14520 Villa Maria NZ 1869

Translated by ChatGPT, 14 September 2023

Biography and letters of Antoine Séon

I have received your last letter dated October 14th of last year. I found in the envelope the new small picture of the Most Reverend and Venerable Father Chanel. I thank you for thinking of me by distributing these new mementos of our first martyr. I hope he does not forget his former college companion from the years at Belley. This picture will remind me to reach out to him. His relics, which were sent to me by Father Lagniet at the time, are still hanging on the mantelpiece in the Hutt. I will watch over them.
The time when we may hear news of the return of Bishop Viard is approaching with the opening of the Council. We will then learn more about it! But the news you gave me about the Archbishop of Amasie, etc., etc., is given without any reservation by Father Reignier. May God be glorified in it, and may it bring about a good outcome. God is just and infinitely merciful; both of them have done their part well... so much money has passed!
[written in margin]
Father Rolland left to collect money to pay his debts.
It's quite shocking to cry out: what becomes of the widow's mite? Another who has devoured the sacred money by thousands of pounds sterling is the famous Larkins from Hokitika; he has been visiting our capital for several weeks; he plays all roles to obtain reinstatement: he offered £5.0.0 to Father Petitjean; he asked that you be asked for him for ornaments, offering at the same time £10 to pay for them; he offered to make a retreat, and seeing the conditions imposed on him, after a day and a half, he left everything; he is working to form a faction composed of all the junior members of the congregation; they talk about petitioning Father O'Reilly and through him to Cardinal Barnabo (I think); he pushes them to everything; to give their money 1°; 2° to criticize the rules/regime of the administration, 3° to petition against... etc. He is an elusive snake; pray for us; Bishop Viard did not succeed well when he admitted him to his diocese even in a passing manner.
I learned with pleasure from Father Petitjean that you were going to leave for France after Christmas and that you would return afterward; I wish that before your departure, you would purchase for me in Sydney:
  • 6 Reeve’s history of the Old and New Testament edition in 12 in one volume
  • 6 Reeve’s history of the Church 1 volume in 8°
If I have some money with you, you can use it for this purpose; otherwise, I will settle the value with Father Petitjean when I receive it.
I will stop here and present you with my respect.
I have the honour to be, my Reverend Father, your very humble and obedient servant.
JAJ Seon