From Marist Studies
Revision as of 18:56, 2 December 2007 by Merv (talk | contribs) (Initial text)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Fr JFR Pestre to Fr C Cognet, Meanee, 17 December 1895

Translated by Brian Quin, February 2002



Meanee, 17 December 1895

Reverend and very dear Father
You may preach the retreat for the New Plymouth Sisters, since they want you to.
Your situation in Taranaki seems, indeed, to be shaping up well. However, I am happy that the definitive solution has been postponed until the retreat. It would be easier for everyone to consult and to examine the question in depth, before making a commitment. We will also be able to speak about your future presbytery. On one hand, I am not sure that I can grant you the sum which you are asking me for, for the reasons that I will explain to you then; on the other, I hope that it will not be necessary: 1) on the sheet of Fr Hervier’s accounts, which I have just received, is recorded the gift of 1805 francs, to be directed to the needs of your mission; 2) Fr McKenna will pay you for the adornments which you have brought for him: certainly I will deduct this payment of the 1805 francs, but this building programme will still leave you something over, as you will see according to the accounts below; 3) the 500 copies of your history[1] which the St Joseph Fathers are asking you for, will augment your funds considerably; 4) finally, your presbytery will be built more, perhaps, for the advantage of the whites than the Maoris, so they ought to contribute to its construction: you should therefore collect money for this purpose – have a bazaar or art union in the same was as Frs Leprêtre and Melu have done. Why should you use money given by the Propagation of the Faith for the benefit of the whites? We are bound in conscience to use it for the Maori missions, and there is no shortage of [financial] gaps to be filled in there. So, as soon as you can, begin to take up a collection, to ask for subscriptions and to prepare, at least from a distance, a bazaar or an art union. For the rest, we will be able to discuss all that at greater length in Wellington. On the 1st January you will be able to take Fr Lacroix with you, if Fr McKenna is in agreement. I was afraid, not only of upsetting Fr McKenna, but [….? unclear word] of making the other secular priests murmur, by wanting [….? unclear word] two confreres in the charge of a secular.
Here now are your accounts:
Accounts form January – March Fr c
Gift from Propagation of the Faith 20 00
Subscription to the Echo of Fourvière 8 00
Remaining to your credit 12 00
Accounts from July – September
Received for the needs of your mission 1805 00
Owed by you:
six TO[2] medals 18 00
2 ciboria, box of [monstrance? – word unclear] 195 00
2 pairs of trousers 84 00
11 chasubles 685 00
Binding of 99 catechisms 49 50
Binding of 100 prayer books 60 00
Box No. 3892 – from Lyons to Wellington 50 65
Box No. 3892/3 – from Lyons to Wellington 99 85
Box No. 3908 – From Lyons to Sydney 16 00
Total owed by you 1258 00
Total to your credit: 12 fr + 1805 fr 1817 10
Balance to your credit 559 10
or £22.7.6

Meanwhile, I have 3 remarks to make: 1) Box 3908 cost about £6 for duty and transport to Wellington: if you haven’t paid Fr Devoy for this, it will be deducted from the £22.7.6 which stands to your credit. 2) On Fr Lacroix’ accounts 89fr 10 is marked down for Chapel. I think I recall that he told me that this chapel was for you or for Fr McKenna. If it was so, it would again be necessary to deduct this little sum from the £22, but you should get it back from Fr McKenna. 3) Finally, Fr Lacroix was given 353fr to travel from Sydney to Wellington. Of course, this crossing did not cost him this much. No doubt, this sum will serve also to pay for his journey from Wellington to New Plymouth, and he will give you the remainder, but I leave you to dispose of it.
Fr Hervier’s accounts do not go into great detail, and consequently I cannot provide you with any further information. So if you have any difficulties, you would need to make inquiries of him to find the solution.
Do not forget me in your prayers, and believe me always, very dear Fr Cognet, to be
Your very devoted servant in JMJ
J F R Pestre
PS I think I have already told you that I have no more Mass intentions, and so it would not be necessary to count[3] for you and Fr Lacroix.


  1. Hitoria Poto o te Hahi Katorika – see HD1/64 - translator’s note
  2. Third Order
  3. en quoi? – indistinct