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Letters of Marcellin - 086

 

Br. Marcellin Champagnat
21/01/1837


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In a letter written on 11th February, replying to this one, Brother Louis-Marie wrote: In the final analysis, I think my last letter was largely groundless. Fr. Douillets various conversations with the young people I spoke to you about did not have the goal I thought they did.... Marthe is still a nuisance, but that will not be the greatest obstacle if we can pass the rest on to Fr. Douillet....

Therefore, Bro. Louis-Marie had written a letter which has not been preserved, between this one and the one of 29th December 1836, which we mentioned in connection with the letter of 2nd January (cf. L. 80). As director, he must have painted a very dark picture of the situation at La Côte; but after a conversation with Fr. Douillet subsequent to this present letter of Fr. Champagnat, he realized that he had over-reacted. This explains why the threats to withdraw the brothers from La Côte were not carried out, despite the statements made to the bishop and the parish priest on 15th February (LL. 93 and 94).

The volume containing the copy of this letter dates it simply January, while in the first volume of the Circulars it is dated the 21st. Since there is no way to check any further, we have kept the latter date: 21st January.

My very dear Brother Louis-Marie,

I sympathize very much with all the vexation you are experiencing in La Côte. Do not worry a bit about what might happen to you. Try to do your duty the best you can, whether towards Fr. Douillet or towards the children entrusted to you, and especially towards the brothers who are with you. When you are sent away, you will come here and we will find work and bread for you, with the help of God. Meanwhile, do all the good you can. Be very prudent; keep me informed of everything as soon as you discover anything.

Send the novices you think suitable for our work and we will receive them. We received a good number a little while ago. The archbishop of Albi wants us to open a novitiate in his diocese, and the bishop of Belley another.

We will not provoke our departure from Dauphiny, but we will submit to it with resignation, adoring the plans Divine Providence has made for us. Let us not do anything to deserve it, and let us know how to submit to it.

I will not make the trip to La Côte, unless you write me again about it. I do not see what good it would do. Perhaps I will send you Bro. Jean-Baptiste as visitor.

I leave it up to your own prudence to say whatever circumstances permit to Fr. Douillet. Your leaving La Côte would bring us two thousand four hundred francs. If we were looking for money, I would tell you to leave as soon as possible.

Adieu, dear brother, I leave you in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

P.S. The first chance we have, we will send you the rule, which is very well printed.

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