|Title:||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan) to Coogan, William, 1872|
|Sender||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan)|
|Origin||Mt. Melleray, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford|
|Destination||Harlem, NYC, USA|
|Genre||James doesn't write, adversity in Ireland, greetings, gratitude for the money|
December 30, 1872
My Dear Brother,
I received your long wished for and welcome letter on Christmas day which gave me great consolation to find you all in good health. But alas what a wonderful contrast there was between the joys that filled my soul on that great festival and the heart-rending sentiments that part of the account which you sent me was calculated to create; I allude to James principally. What a sorrowful thing it is to see even one of the family become so degenerate and obdurate. But let us not lose courage but pray more earnestly and frequently for his and his family's conversion. Nothing is impossible to God and it may please his divine majesty at length to hear our prayers and effect his conversion. If you could hear from him before you write to me again please let me know as I never heard from him directly yet. And let me know to whom he is married and how he is circumstanced, that is what means of living and what sort of a family he has. I'll shortly write to him again. Please tell Hugh how much I regret his being put about so much; and don't let him be discouraged; be as kind and as attentive to him you all as you possibly can till God will give him a means of doing for himself; tell him I don't expect money from him. I only wish to hear he is well and doing well. Look not on your expatriation as a sort of relegation from a splendid country. It's not at all the case, for Ireland is now in a wretched condition from the continual rain that is falling almost every day. Some lands are in a state unfit to be tilled. The potato crop with us was very bad and we could not succeed in procuring any turf at all. Thousands of poor people throughout Ireland are in great distress, and if the rain continues God alone knows what will become of the Irish. So you see unless America be awfully bad it's far better than Ireland. Take very good care and don't imitate the false maxims nor imbibe the noxious spirit that you may observe, but always look to God and try to please him alone.
You all who approach the Sacraments 3 times in the year would please me better if you would oftener as they are the most powerful means we have to receive and preserve the grace of God.
I was sorry to hear of the trials James Doyle and his family met with. I am happy to find they are now recovered. Remember me to them all in the kindest manner and tell them I pray for them every day. Remember me to Denis & Mathew and poor Mary Meaney and all others for whom I should enquire; I mean our own family, all whom I love so dear, but in particular and before all to my poor Mother who took such care of me and took such an interest in my welfare. May God's best blessings be with her. May his holy grace sanctify and strengthen her during life, and at death may He have his Immaculate Mother conduct her to the regions of eternal bliss. Be most careful of her and most attentive to her while she lives. I'd be glad to hear from her as often as convenient. The Abbot is most grateful for the money you sent, and you were all recommended to the prayers of the community and 4 masses were or will soon be said for my mother's intentions and 4 more for the soul of the girl you mentioned. I'm happy to say that my health is very good just now. I cannot complain of it, thank God. Brother Fintan, with whom I work, is also well and is very kind and agreeable to me. Please let me know have Mathew and Denis all their large debts paid as yet and let me know what number of houses they have and what rent they receive for them. I wish to know these matters and tell me also how you are paid for your time now.
As I have said so much I'll end by saying
May God's Blessing be with you all.
I am as ever your affectionate brother,
M. Coogan, Brother Declan