Letter 1-to his brother (1).
Wilfrid's, 2nd March, 1852.
All of you will be wanting to know how I am keeping, how I am finding
England and how my journey went. My journey from Belgium to England
went very well. A Belgian priest accompanied me as far as Dover(2) and
after this I travelled alone, for the most part by train. At times I
travelled along under the ground and so I found myself in complete darkness.
Everything went quite well during the sailing; I did, in fact, feel
a little uncomfortable, but the fact that it was raining and was quite
windy has to be taken into account, and soon after the crossing I recovered
completely. We have a monastery near London and I stayed there for two
days.(3) From there I left for Aston Hall, staying five days in that
house.(4) I then headed for St. Wilfrid's with our Rev. Father Provincial,
(5) and it is in this beautiful monastery that I am to stay. (6) I have
already grown used to the English climate and am beginning to speak
a little English; but pray also for the poor Protestants of England
that one day they will be converted to the true faith. I pray often
for you all.
If you want to write to me, you will have to address the letter as follows.
Reverend Father Charles,
St. Wilfrid's n. Cheadle,
Give my regards to all my other brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles,
the parish priest Pompers, Father Duzzings the curate, etc.
from your ever-loving brother,
Father Charles of St. Andrew, Passionist.
Positio super virtutibus, Summarium, p. 323, L.1. (Rome, 1955). This
letter was probably written to
his brother Peter Joseph, who was at this time studying for the diocesan
priesthood at Roermond.
2. His companion was Father Turrenius c.p. They left Holy Cross Retreat,
Ere, on 16th February
1852, arriving at Dover on the 17th;
3. This was the house known as the Hyde in Cool Oak Lane (or Wood Lane),
Kilburn, where the Passionists lived before moving to Highgate.
4. St. Michael's Retreat, Aston Hall, Stone, Staffordshire: this was
the first Passionist house in England, founded by Blessed Dominic Barberi
on 2nd February, 1842.
5. Father Eugene (Martorelli) c.p.
6. St. Wilfrid's, known today as Cotton College, was previously the
home of Father Faber and his "Company of the Will of God."
The monastery church was described by its architect, Pugin, as "the
only perfect church in England, with an east window he could die for."