Results of the second journey

The Rule Colin’s discussion on the Rule ended with the withdrawal of his request for approval of the Constitutions. For him the idea of the three branches was integral to the very nature of the Society. Unless this element was approved, he felt unable to present the Rule. Thus, for the time being, it seemed that the Fourviere dream was impossible.

The Missions Colin had more success with his proposal for the Mission in Oceania.

At the beginning of 1838, the Oceania Mission had been divided into two groups: Wallis/Futuna, and New Zealand, and with the passage of time the limitations of this division had become obvious.

Colin proposed a reorganization of the Mission into five Vicariates and eventually, on 23 August 1842, Propaganda divided the Oceania Mission into two parts:

  • New Zealand and its outlying parts. The Vicar Apostolic was to be Pompallier with a coadjutor of his choice.
  • Central Oceania: Wallis, Futuna, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, and New Caledonia. Bataillon (age 32) was to be Vicar Apostolic, with Guillaume Douarre (age 28) and who was still a novice when appointed Bishop, was his coadjutor.

He was consecrated Bishop and then he himself consecrated Bataillon in 1843 at Wallis.

Then, in 1844, two further Vicariates were created:

  • Melanesia: comprising ┬áNew Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland and the Solomon Islands.
  • Micronesia: an area where Marists never reached.

For Colin, the other key issue was the situation of his men. He put forward a plan for the missions which would ensure that he had certain rights in any mission vicariate, rights which would help him to protect his men better than he had been able to do in New Zealand.

He proposed to Cardinal Fransoni four principles to govern the relationship between the Marists and their bishop in a mission territory:

  • To establish a Provincial to represent the Superior General, and who could watch over each missionary.
  • Where there is a need, to be able to withdraw a missionary and replace him by another; a right to be used only in grave cases.
  • To require that ordinarily missionaries be not placed by themselves as they had been in the past for whole years.
  • To recall, every four or five years, one of the missionaries to report on the mission. (Colin to Fransoni. June 21, 1842)

A week before his return to France, Colin succumbed to a bout of malaria. He thought he might die, and suggested that Maitrepierre be his replacement.

He recovered, and left Rome on August 28th, arriving in Lyons on September 3rd. His stay in Rome had been three months long.

The Retreat of September 20-27 1842 gave Colin a chance to reflect on his visit with a group that included almost all the Marists then in Europe. Mayet records that the Founder did this at some length: “I am doing nothing but talk, talk, talk. You know, I have become a real chatterbox on this second trip to Rome. (QS 229:4)