Mood of the journey

It would not be hard to guess the general mood of this second voyage to Rome. The heady buoyancy of the first visit has given place to a much more sober view of reality. Colin insisted that the purpose of his vow to come to Rome in 1833 was to place the whole plan before the authorities, and to see what the will of God was regarding the enterprise. The plan was no longer a dream. It had now been in operation for some time, and already the difficulties were becoming apparent. Colin’s mood was well caught by Poupinel in his report on the voyage:

“Ah!” he often said as he acquainted me with his anxieties and difficulties in relation to the Mission, “How arduous it is to be Superior. You people cannot see it, perhaps, but all these anxieties are wearing me out. If I were far away from these worries and cares, I would be in better health. But then, when I think of my confrères in difficulty and sorrow, when I see their virtue put at risk, I spare no effort to be of service to them.”  (QS 219:3

By now Colin was on personal terms with members of the Roman Curia with whom he was dealing. While there was a sense of admiration and mutual respect, Colin did not find full sympathy either for his plan for the multi-branched congregation or for his practical difficulties in Oceania.