The Makers of Canada: Bishop Laval eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 233 pages of information about The Makers of Canada.
truth, you have had the courage to proceed to the execution of them.  It is true that my heart has long yearned for what you have accomplished; but I have never had sufficient confidence or reliance to undertake it.  I always awaited the means quae pater posuit in sua potestate.  I hope that, since the Most Holy Family of our Lord has suggested all these works to you, they will give you means and ways to maintain what is so much to the glory of God and the welfare of souls.  But, according to all appearances, great difficulties will be found, which will only serve to increase this confidence and trust in God.”  And he ends with this prudent advice:  “Whatever confidence God desires us to have in His providence, it is certain that He demands from us the observance of rules of prudence, not human and political, but Christian and just.”

He concerns himself even with the servants, and it is singular to note that his mind, so apt to undertake and execute vast plans, possesses none the less an astonishing sagacity and accuracy of observation in petty details.  One Valet, entrusted with the purveyance, had obtained permission to wear the cassock.  “Unless he be much changed in his humour,” writes Mgr. de Laval, “it would be well to send him back to France; and I may even opine that, whatever change might appear in him, he would be unfitted to administer a living, the basis of his character being very rustic, gross, and displeasing, and unsuitable for ecclesiastical functions, in which one is constantly obliged to converse and deal with one’s neighbours, both children and adults.  Having given him the cassock and having admitted him to the refectory, I hardly see any other means of getting rid of him than to send him back to France.”

In his correspondence with Saint-Vallier, Laval gives an account of the various steps which he was taking at court to maintain the integrity of the diocese of Quebec.  This was, for a short time, at stake.  The Recollets, who had followed La Salle in his expeditions, were trying with some chance of success to have the valley of the Mississippi and Louisiana made an apostolic vicariate independent of Canada.  Laval finally gained his cause; the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Quebec over all the countries of North America which belonged to France was maintained, and later the Seminary of Quebec sent missionaries to Louisiana and to the Mississippi.

But the most important questions, which formed the principal subject both of his preoccupations and of his letters, are that of the establishment of the Recollets in the Upper Town of Quebec, that of a plan for a permanent mission at Baie St. Paul, and above all, that of the tithes and the support of the priests.  This last question brought about between him and Mgr. de Saint-Vallier a most complete conflict of views.  Yet the differences of opinion between the two servants of God never prevented them from esteeming each other highly.  The following letter does as much honour

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The Makers of Canada: Bishop Laval from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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