|Title:||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan) to Coogan, William, 1876|
|Sender||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan)|
|Origin||Mt. Melleray, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford|
|Destination||Harlem, NYC, USA|
|Genre||his mother's recovery, religious commentary, a relative's financial situatoin, commentary on poverty, donations|
|Transcript||Mount Melleray, Cappoquin, County Waterford|
December 16, 1876
Note at top of first page: Keep the photographs that I sent from damp.
My Dear Br.,
I feel overjoyed just now on hearing of my poor Mother enjoying good health and continuing to discharge her religious duties so exactly and to be consequently preparing for the all-important moment that will decide her lot for eternity. That's the great duty you should all be exact in discharging for if you neglect that all will go wrong, and Salvation cannot be obtained. Live in charity and peace with everyone, and if you observe in the conduct of anyone what you would not expect or what would not be right, be always ready to forgive and pray for those in particular that God may open their eyes, that they may see their own improper conduct and be converted from their evil ways. I hope you'll try and make my poor Mother as happy as you can that thus she may be the better able to bear her many trials with resignation and patience. You all have trials and trouble, and who is there who has not (precisely no one), so let us have courage and trust in God who will not abandon us if we be faithful to his law and His grace. Let us think of the beautiful home that awaits us in recompense for our fidelity, a beautiful home, compared with which all that we can imagine is no more than the feeble glimmering of a nightlight to the brilliancy of the noonday Sun.
I feel very happy indeed and I'm grateful to our Good Master who has brought me from the many trials of a deluding world, from its lurid uncharitableness, from its dreaming fictitious frivolities, and from the glaring, sordid immorality of its deluded votaries, those deluded wretches who are rushing headlong down the current of life to be drowned in the ocean of a miserable eternity, if not converted. So take courage and fight the good fight. Serve God as well as you can and God will never forsake you but will have a crown prepared for us far more beautiful than the gorgeousness of the crimson sunset in all its splendour.
You need not be surprised at my omitting Mary Byrne's name in my letters, for I frequently shed tears when I think of her. I had such a regard for her always. I never had on earth a relative I loved as much as her. I love her now as much as ever, and I'm constantly praying for her spiritual and temporal welfare, and I frequently cry tears of love and compassion when I think she is in hardship. I hope you will all help her as well as you can and treat her as if she was living with you. I'm delighted to hear that she is still kind to my poor mother. Tell her from me (I mean Mary Meaney) that she need not be uneasy about sending money, till God will send her more means. I'll have the prayers of the Community offered for her every day in union with you all.
I was delighted to hear of the expected amelioration consequent on the recent election. I would wish to know as soon as convenient what is the improvement in the administration to be, or will the old President remain. I like to know these matters. You often heard the old saying 'enough is enough.' I think if that phrase was directed to the poverty that has lately existed in America it would be verified to the letter.
I hope none amongst you were so unfortunate as to be numbered among the victims, or even the spectators of the Brooklyn Theatre. Let me know next time if any of my poor neighbours or friends have suffered. Remember me to all the family and tell poor Mathew that if I offended him on a former occasion by some forlorn [?] rude [?] word I said in my letter, I now ask his pardon and tell him write to me soon. I like so much to hear from him. The Superiors are most thankful to my mother for her kind donation which I'm very glad for her own soul's sake she has wisely sent. I'll send my likeness to her as soon as I can. Pray for me you all. May God's blessing be with you all. Yours, etc. Br. Declan Coogan