Letter 13-To his brother, Father Peter Joseph Houben.(1)
J. X. P.
St. Joseph's Retreat, Highgate,
15th January, 1873.
dearest reverend brother,
I was delighted to see from your letter of 4th January that you, and
our brothers and sisters and uncle, are all well. Thank God, I am keeping
well too. I wish you all a happy and holy New Year, one full of happiness
and peace: may the skies open up and shower down on you an abundance
of graces; may the Lord keep you safe from every evil of soul and body,
.and, when this life is over, may he lead you to that blessed place
where the years do not end and happiness and peace are eternal. These
are my wishes for you.
The Provincial has moved me from St. Anne's Retreat, Sutton, Lancashire
to St. Joseph's Retreat, Highgate, London,(2) as you will have seen
from the address above. We first took possession of this house in 1858
and built a beautiful church here in 1862; almost six hundred Protestants
have been received into the true faith in it. I am delighted to hear
that you are saying three Hail Marys every day for the conversion of
England. (3) I have also prayed for Father Peter Salimans, parish priest
of Geleen. Since persecutions against our Church are becoming more and
more cruel and violent, let us all pray fervently that God will soon
bring peace to the world, that peace which is the desire of all Christians.
My best wishes to our brothers and sisters, to our uncle the mayor,
and to yourself, my dearest brother. I ask you all to remember me in
your prayers: please pray for me; I pray for each one of you and think
of you every day during the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Regards to all the rest of the family, Father Gobbels and the curate,
and any other friends. I wish them all a happy and holy New Year, filled
with joy and blessings. My superiors send you their good wishes and
wish you a happy New Year. I hope you are keeping well.
the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless and
protect you all.
God bless you, dearest brother.
In the hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Your loving brother,
Fr. Charles of St. Andrew, Passionist.
Summ. p. 345, L. 28.
2. Charles arrived in S'. Joseph's Retreat, Highgate on 25th September,
3. The practice of saying three Hail Marys every day for the conversion
of England originated with Father Ignatius (Spencer) c.p. A former Anglican
clergyman Father Ignatius travelled throughout Britain and Ireland asking
for prayers for Christian unity and for the conversion of England. He
also made several journeys across Europe for the same purpose; during
one of these journeys (in August, 1849) Father Ignatius had visited
Munstergeleen and met Father Charles' family.