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Letters of Marcellin - 033


Br. Marcellin Champagnat

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This letter is undated, but it is easy to see it was written for New Years. We can determine the year from what Bro. Antoine wrote on the first page of his own letter: My very dear Father, Brother Théophile is coming to the Hermitage with my permission and that of our parish priest, for the reasons he will explain to you. Your humble servant, Brother Antoine. Since Brother Théophile was in Millery only during the 1833-34 school year (see biographical sketch), it must be January 1834. In Circulars, I, p. 178, the date is specified as 15th January, but we have no further proof of that.

The contents of the letter are in keeping with the atmosphere with prevailed in the Institute right after the promulgation of the school law. Several brothers who, like Bro. Antoine, had been teaching without a certificate of competence, now had reason to fear being challenged.

Father Champagnat simply wrote this letter on the back of Bro. Antoines. Bro. Théophile must have brought it to Millery when he returned there, since it bears no postmark.

My very dear Brother Antoine,

I do not doubt for an instant doubt the sincerity of your good wishes for me. Please believe in your turn that the only thing I long for is your happiness.

I am delighted that the mayor is leaving you in peace. At the moment, all our other establishments are also at peace. To God alone belong all the honor and glory for that.

I have just returned from Montbrison; this was my second trip there. I was well received by the prefect. He assured me that I would get the authorization, that the government could not fail
to approve a work of this nature. I gave him our statutes and the request we are sending to the king.

Brothers Jean-Marie and Jean-Louis went to St-Etienne the 27th of last month for their examination. They found quite a few layteachers there, as well as three Brothers of the Christian Schools. Each of them received his certificate of competence, as did our brothers. Out of all the layteachers, only one received his, and the examination was very fair.

I am in a great rush. I have time only to tell you that I leave you in the most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Champagnat, sup.

P.S. We are receiving many novices.

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