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Letter 19 - 31 March 1786


31 March 1786

The pleasure I had of receiving yours of the 15th inst. has been such as to make me forget my former jealousys (sic) to you on account of your silence, and am sincerely concerned for your bad state of health, as I am confident no person would make a better use of a good fund of health than you would, but God is pleased to afflict his own and I have every confidence that he will support you under all your difficulties until you'll complete the great work for which you have so long laboured, this I assure you is the constant prayer of our little community, as we are convinced next to our holy Foundress none would be of greater loss to our Infant Institution in this country than you would be, as it's rare to find any person in this country of your sentiments and hers with regard to the salvation of the poor, and God only knows what a deluge of ignorance they are buried in, and it's only those who are daily employed among them can tell the use early Instructions would be, and tho’ it were to be wished it was propagated in every County, yet no place stands more in need of it than the City of Dublin and Cork from the numerous poor residing in both cities.

I am charmed to hear of the expectation you have of the Lady's joining you whom you mention and I wish I had it in my power to be of the least use to such a great work, as I must own under Heaven there is nothing I have so much at heart, and I assure you I am always willing whatever my poor capacity is capable of to serve you on this occasion. You confer too great an honour on me when you ask my advice on this head, as I am sure you are much a better judge than I could be. But as you wish for my poor opinion I'll answer you candidly, that if you could get one or two with a fund of Piety and good sense it would be preferable to any other Talents, as they could be easily instructed in everything else proper for the Institution. Indeed in my opinion it's needless to have extraordinary Talents for poor children and without the above mentioned perfections they would be of very little use to such an Establishment, for tho' there would be no danger while they had you for a model of their erring in these points, but it's after your death there may be danger of the permanency of this great work, we have the comfort to hear from the best divines in this city that there never was so much good done since St Patrick's time as has been promoted by our holy Foundress' Establishments as they say it's the only counterpoise to the Charter Schools and the only means to prevent the growth of Heresy. God seems to give a particular blessing to all Bishop Moylan's works, as indeed the Lady sent by him to us for his Mission possesses every virtue that one could wish for her vocation.

I am happy to hear that Miss Corballis has such a change for the better in her health, who knows but God in his goodness would enable her to undertake our Rule, he often works wonders in favour of the weak when they have a good heart. Mrs. Fouhy joins me in most affectionate compliments to you both assuring you that you may command us when and as you please.