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PS 289 PowerPoint Presentation

PS 289

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PS 289

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  1. Lettres de Marcellin J. B. Champagnat (1789-1840) Fondateur de l’Institut des Frères Maristes, présentées par Frère Paul Sester, 1985, translated by Brother Leonard Voegtle, two-column format: CEPAM, to Monsieur Augustin Revol, Curé at Bougé-Chambalud, Isère; 1839-10; PS 289; Copy: AFM, RCLA 1, p. 140, nº 176 This is the third letter Champagnat is sending to Fr. Revol. The exchange between the founder and the priest are largely business oriented. The two men wrote to each other three times. The letters are very clear in giving us the picture of the negociations that went on about the opening of the new establishment in the commune of Bougé-Chambalud. At the beginning of 1839, Fr. Revol travelled l’Hermitage where Champagnat assured him of sending brothers if all the conditions were fulfilled. (cf. Br. Ivo Strobino, ‘Introductory notes to ‘passive letters’).

  2. PS 289 • It’s not until May 12th that Champagnat writes (PS 253) to let him know that his request has not been forgotten but has been entered in the records as No7. (Here again we can see Marcellin’s sense of planning and justice). Another letter (PS 269) is sent by Champagnat on September 13th 1839. Then we have a ‘business letter’ (PS 189) on the 6th of October from Fr. Revol still about the opening of the new parish school. Champagnat answers that letter (PS 289) sometimes within the same month of October. That letter is precisely the object of our analysis. • Fr. Revol will write two other letters PS 194 on the 9th of December and PS 196 on the 22nd of the same month in 1839. (Before and right after the arrival of the brothers in Bougé-Chambalud.)

  3. Chronological order • abm 253 on 12th May 1839 • abm 269 on 13th Sept 1839 • PS 189 on 6th Oct 1839 • abm 289 on Oct 1839 • PS 194 on 9th Dec 1839 • PS 196 on 22nd Dec 1839

  4. SITUATION THROUGH PEOPLE AND PLACES This is the last letter Champagnat is writing to Revol. • Father Revol Augustin (1798-1868). He was appointed parish priest of Bougé-Chambalud, Isère in 1822. This is all that is found in the archives of Grenoble. But we will come to know more about him from Avit himself who lived with him since he was to direct the school in Bougé-Chambalud in 1844. They entertained very good relationships. (Reference, Vol.2 p439-441). • That is why Avits himselef can fill in some of the blank: “Fr. Augustin Revol was named parish priest of Bougé and Cham­balud, which were then united, on 1st March 1822. He was only twen­ty-three. Before that, he had spent six months as chaplain of the Sisters of Roussillon. When he arrived, the two parishes of Bougé and Chambalud were still united (The parish) probably had only itinerant teachers who came from the Briançonnais region during the winter, like all the towns in that part of the country. The parish priest was not satisfied with so little and took steps to get something better” (AA. 214. 14, p. 3).

  5. Mademoiselle Esther • A benefactress, daughter of Count De Revol, helped him carry out his plans. But it was only in 1839 that he con­tacted Fr. Champagnat to ask for brothers. Letters 253, 269 and 289 give us a good bit of information about the negotiations which rapidly went in favor of the parish priest, who will, however and very; soon found himself in financial difficulties because of the sudden death of his benefactress.

  6. BOUGE-CHAMBALUD: • A town in the department of the Isère, in the arrondissement of Vienne and the district of Roussillon. “The town is situated on the Serrières-Grenoble road, on the Beige River and Dolon Creek, at 205 meters altitude. As its name indicates, it includes two parishes; the first has 900 inhabitants, the other, 300. The town is completely agricultural. The area is very fertile. The people harvest great quantities of various grains, fodder crops, and fruits. The climate is mild and healthful. There may be seen a Roman road and various Roman ruins, as well as the Château de Portes, which in 1790 belonged to the Revol family. “The parish of Bougé apparently does not date back beyond the 11th century. Before then, its territory was divided between the par­ishes of Chambalud and Anjou. Fr. Augustin Revol was named parish priest of Bougé and Chambalud while they were still united. We do not know what schools the town had in those days. After the law of 1833, a certain Geuillon, who was lame and of doubtful ability, but a very good man, was appointed town teacher. He taught his class in a room which was part of the priest’s residence. The parish priest was not satisfied with so little and maneuvered to get something better. Providence gave him the means to do so” (AFA, 214.14, pp. 2-

  7. The Letter • The foundress died early September 1839 and Father Revol finds himself in an awkward situation. She did not set aside anything for the 800 francs subsidy. He asked the old countess (the mother of his benefactress) and received a curt negative reply. But she did pay 1000 francs for the personal furnishings, as her daughter asked her to on her death bed. The town council voted the subsidy in two yearly payment (AA 214, 14. P5) • In letter 189, Revol requests that the subsidy be either dropped or at least reduced. Clearly our founder refuses in this letter. Revol later finds new solutions. Anyway ‘tout est bien qui finit bien’ everything ends up well because the brother arrive in December probably a little before the 22nd, and the school will open on the 2nd of January 1840.

  8. PS 289 To Fr. REVOL Augustin • Father, • [01] It is very upsetting that the benefactress of your establishment did not have the good fortune to see the fulfillment of the pious project of having a religious school in your town, but God, who asked this further sacrifice from her generous soul will certainly reward her for it.

  9. [02] In a few days we will send a brother to visit your establishment. At the same time, he will buy whatever is most necessary for the arrival of the brothers. We would very much like to be able to offer you the reduction you asked for, since we are not motivated by selfish interests. But, Father, our present needs, the high cost of living, our need to have a uniform and constant procedure for the foundation of our establishments, and many other important reasons, make it impossible for us to permit any reduction.

  10. [03] Please help your good parishioners to accept our reasoning. In their generosity, they will not fail to find the means to meet this small requirement.[04] Please accept the sincere.... • [CHAMPAGNAT]

  11. ATTITUDES OF CHAMPAGNAT • Compassionate attitude. ‘It is very upsetting..’ he even seems to be helping Revol to find alternative solutions …. ‘help your good parishioner to accept our reasoning. In their generosity, they will not fail to find the means to meet this small requirement.’ • Business minded, practical, social intelligence ‘..procedure, our reasoning..send a brother to visit you establishment’ • A man of justice, constancy ‘Our need to have a uniform and constant procedure for the foundation of our establishments’ • Honest and Open and genuine, he gives honest and genuine reasons as to why the request of Revol cannot be satisfied. • Realistic (justice and equity) ‘our present needs, the high cost of living..’ • Concern about the brothers welfare In a few days we will send a brother to visit your establishment. • Well Organised we can see that in the reasons he gives Revol..

  12. MENTALITY • Things happen because God wants it so…(positive thinking) …the death of the benefactress and the negociations with Revol… he seems to tell Revol not to worry and that his parishioners will not fail to find ways to meet ‘this small requirement’. • Our first aim should be the mission and not any selfish interest… ‘no selfish interest’. In our mission we should put our selfish interest aside. Our mission is the end…WE DO NOT ESTABLISH SCHOOLS TO MAKE MONEY BUT TO LEAD YOUNG PEOPLE TO GOD. TO MAKE GOOD CITIZENS AND CHRISTIANS. • We should be as much as possible, just, impartial and consistent in our policies…. ‘need to have a uniform and constant procedure…’ • The brother are special, we should take good care of them… ‘necessary for the arrival of the brothers…’ ‘..pious project of having a religious school’ • Be of one heart and of one mind……use of we and ‘uniform…’

  13. BIBLICAL ALLUSIONS • Generous sacrifice of one’s soul and the reward that goes with it • Matthew 5.12: • Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, • Matthew 6.4: • so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.* • Luke 6.23: • Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven. • We are not motivated by any selfish interest • Exodus 22.25: • You shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them • Leviticus 25.36: • Do not take interest in advance or otherwise make a profit from them. • Philippians 2.4: • Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. • Psalm 119:36 • Incline my heart to follow your will and not my own selfish desire

  14. REFLECTIONS IN MARIST DOCUMENTS • Our Constitutions • Detachment art.16 • Poverty art. 15, 18 • Prudence dynamism and understanding art. 121 • Norms for opening a new establishment, “pious project of having a religious school” art. 150.12

  15. PHRASES THAT STRIKE ME • The whole of the first paragraph shows the complete trust of Champagnat in God, more that his philosophy, his way of life, his spirituality. It looks as if he was saying it for himself. It is very upsetting that when one does not see the fulfillment of the pious project. But, and there is a but, God who asks this sacrifice form the generous soul will certainly give the reward in heaven. I am tempted to say, even if he dies without witnessing or obtaining the official authorization, there is no need to worry because God is in charge, in control. • We are not motivated by any selfish interest.

  16. Personal Reflection • The use of we and our in the letter show how united Champagnat, at the end of his life, is united to his brothers. He sees the mission entrusted to him continuing in his little brothers of Mary. • “Champagnat lives in us” “we are Champagnat today”. “Tu serás hoy Champagnat” We continue the Mission not out of any selfish interest but for LOVE.

  17. We are Champagnat Today !!!