Juan Francicso Buchetti to Stephen F. Austin, 04-29-1826

Summary: Instructing Austin to make preparation for his residence in the colony as priest. Reports are that there are few Catholics in the colony and that Austin does not require certificates from his colonists showing that they are Catholics.

State of Leon, Parish of Lampazzos, April 29th 1826

Dear Sir,

I have already sent you a few lines from Laredo giving you notice of my purposes and intentions of going to your Colony, the which, I hope, you have received.

I now think advisable to inform you of my posterior Relations with the President of the venerable Ecclesiastic Chapter of this See of New Leon, Episcopali Sede vacante, the reverend Doctor, D. Jose Leon Lobo, on the subject of my being sent thither.

After having made known to him my intentions etc by letters from this place (not having been able, as yet, on account of sickness, to go and appear before him; but I hope I shall soon do so) I have received his answer in a letter, writen in Chapter, which not only approuves my purposes, praizes my motives; but also encourages me to go amongst you with the Curate, who is shortly to be sent thither, (he defines not the precise time when) in the capacity of his assistant to wit: 1o in lictis, as his lawfull interpreter for church affairs, 2° as the sacristan a Secretis, which implies steward, or clerk, of the depending Branch there of this Episcopal church—3° as the public teacher of the roman catholic Doctrine and Dogmas in favour of the Anglo-americans catholic of your colony and, pro tempore, of those of its vicinity.

Credential Letters patent of Licentiated commission are not only promised me, but I am even requested to accept of them to enable me to discharge legally those 3 offices. As for my maintenance, or Salary, as well as that of the Curate, I know not as yet how much it will be agread upon or from whom it will be afforded; whither from the Colony or from the See? But for my part, I will try to make my arrangements with the See on that point. Our Curate, I understand, is a man of very amiable manners and of a Strict Discipline, you will have a good and vigilant Pastor of him.

I will not neglect to exert myself in praying as decent set as possible of Church Necessaries, of ministerial ornamental implements; if they are to be sent from this place, or, ad interim, borrowed from some of the missions in Texas.

The President of the Chapter in writing to me adverts rather with displeasure in one of his letters that he has understood and knows well that a good many heretics and protestants have introduced themselves into those new colonies etc. etc. and says that he will omit nothing in his power in order to quickly prevent and effectually impeach the further dissemination of their anticatholic principles either by words or Books within his jurisdiction and to that effect (he does intimate) he will call upon the assistence of the secular Power of these States, if necessary ? ? ? Maybe that Ulyo George Nixon or Dr John B. Long, who has been at the Brassos and who lately went to Monterrey to see him to be Baptized or some other americans have informed him, as they have also told me, that they beleaved that there are not 10 souls of real Roman Catholic in all your Colony and that you, without exacting credentials of Catholicity, as duly bound, indiscriminately protect and admit into it families and individuals too well known to be pertinacious members of various heretical Sects? But I hope that they have been mistaken.

I understand also that the president of the Chapter, in order to avoid abusive impositions and deceptions on their part, will insert, amongst other matters, in our orders of instructions that we should recognize, refer, and admit nobody as roman Catholics but those who can individually produce to us their regular, sealed church Dimissorial Letters especifying which of the 7 sacraments they have received, from the several R. C. episcopal authorities of the countries from whence they come, according to the canonical laws of the R. C. church in such cases. And all those who can not produce the same, shall be, casually, considered as heretics, protestants or, at the best, as mere Deists, to be refered and proceaded with according to the further orders of the Ecclesiastical Authorities, as their several cases might require ? ?—

Consequently, Dear sir, you will perceive the propriety of timely advising all your catholic people, who might have forgotten or neglected to furnish themselves with the sd regular Credentials, to have immediate recourse to their original Records, by writing to their respective Bishops, or grand vicaries, in order that they may be sent to them and above all, their several individual Extracts of Baptism Confirmation and Matrimony; for they will be the very first things demanded, and, as ex-officio exacted by us as a Sine quo non:, so that this department of R. C. church may officially know whither they have individually received the first Sacrament of Baptism and which of the others besides, in order that we may procead to confer legally and validly the others not already confered, as and when the case might individually require. No superiour authorities, either Civil or Ecclesiastical can dispense anybody with this. And we at our arrival thither, without that very first requisit could not canonically and in good conscience proceed to officiate, chiefly in the cases of Matrimony etc. etc. in order to confirm Lands Titles etc etc. in gratiam talium) in favour of all such and even of the pure nomináis, or self styled Roman Catholics ? ?—

if there be, in realty, any protestants, or sectarians in your colony who might wish, for approved motives, after being instructed in the Catholic Dogmas, bonafide to abjure solemnly their erroneous ways of thinking in matters of Faith and morals, they shall be upon trial admited. Whom, I in pity of their ignorance of our holy Dogmas etc, etc, and of their once maliciously preached and deaply rooted prejudices against our holy R. C. church, I will for my own part use my utmost endeavour to instruct them rightly by catechizing them preparatorely to their being admited and do all that Charity and prudence will dictate, so that by mild means they may become incorporated with us in the Church and consequently be made thereby the lawful civil members of this Confederated Catholic Republic, for their own individual good and that of the Colony.

I hope that they will all, without murmur, gladly and obediently submit, and confirm themselves in every things to the established rules and customs of this Diócesis

And as for you, Dear Sir, you will evidently perceave that it would be among other things, very conductive to your own and to your peoples interests that you should not only [not] put any impediments or obstacles to our future proceedings and exertions, but as duty bound, it is hoped you would gladly second our plans, help and protect us in effecting all those desirable things, so that your first planted Colony of anglo-americans, being well moralized may not only prouve a delightfull consolation in your old days but might also serve, to your own credit and honour as a patern of Moralty for the others which are about to be formed in its vicinity—

But not to fatigue too much your attention, Dear Sir, renewing my respects to you and to your secretary, Mr Williams and sending my compliments to all and in particular to some of my own acquaintances in the colony, till I shall have the satisfaction of seeing you all personally I remain your very humble and devoted servant

John Francis Buohetti

P. S. In case you should desire me to receive your commands on any subject, you will direct your letters to me reccomended to the cares of Dr. D. Jose Leon Lobo, Canónigo Doctoral, vicario capitular y Gobernador de este obispado de Nuevo Leon, etc., etc., Monterrey, so that through him I might receive the same

Yours &c J. F. Buchetti

But, Dear Sir, I was forgetting to observe to you that it would be very proper (if you have not already thought of it) for you to procure a Small Assortment of english Roman catholic approved Books, for the use of the people of your Colony and of those of its vicinity, for every families besides the schools will be obliged to have more or less of them.

I thought advisable to enclose you the anexed List of those I think the most necessary and usefull in the several cases of the people of your own and of the other colonies; you may easesly obtain them from the several R. Catholic libraries of the U. S. by addressing yourself on that subject to the Rvd Mr Dubourg R. Catholic Bishop of the State of Louisiana—or to the R. C. Archbishop of Baltimore or to some others, who upon application will (as duty bound) gladly assist you, or agents in making a genuine Selection, at least in substance, of the s'd neaded religious and Moral Books, so that you may not be mistaken in the collection but they would also indicate you from whence they may be had at a reasonable price. For it is already too well known that not a few of Moral and religious Books of a great many of those new colonists are anti-catholic both in name and in substance, they being composed by various heretical authors, enemies declared of the román C. Church— ? which Books all the colonists who shall wish to commune with our holy román C. Church will not and can not be allowed or suffered either to Read, to Keep, or to Sell,?? but they must be delivered up to us?— as orders will be given to that effect by the superior (ecclesiastic) authorities of these states.

But, may be it would be better not to tell them anything of it for the present, so that they may not, being alarmed, abscond or hide them.

And also a small collection of Spanish-English et vice versa, Dictionnaries and gramars for the schools among which if you procure me Ainesworth's Latin and english Dictionary, I will at my arrival, pay you well for it. etc and with some others roman Catholic approuved religious books as one of the s'd Bishops or some other roman Ecclesiastic authority would recommend as very sellable and usefull in favour of the angio-american settlers of those new colonies, Observing that, in order to their being lawfull, all moral or religious book's to be introduced into this Episcopal Jurisdiction must be purely and strictly canonical according to the several Pontifical Bulas and the Decrees of the holy Councils and of this Diócesis.

Sir, I remain yours &c.

J Feis Buchetti

An indefinite List of the Roman English Catholic Religious and Moral Books neaded altho their several exact titles and the Authors' names of many of them are not recollected; but are desired to beprocured to answer, in substance, to their several, here especified. intents and purposes.

Io The Minor, or small abreaged Roman Catholic Catechism, for young people. So many grosses &c

2° The Large or larger historical Ditto for adults; or such a one as would be in favour of sectarians wishing to be instructed in the R. C. Doctrine preparatorelly to their admission into the Church, or some otherwayse styled approuved Doctrinal work to that effect, one gross or so many dozens—

3° The vade-mecum, or Roman Catholic Guide 1 Gross or so many dzens—

4° The R. C Missal being latin and english 1 gross &—

5° R. C. approuved English hymns, R. C. spiritual songs, with or without notes, or some small Books conteining them or some of them 1. gross etc

6° The history of the R. C. Church (in English) by . . . (not recollected) but a well known and acknowledged roman C. Author. A few Dozens

Bossuet on heresies (in english) or his history of the origin of Lutheranism, Calvinism and of the Church of England 1 gross or so many—

8° Defence of the Roman C. Church by detecting and confuting the Errors and prejudices of the Sectarians, or some otherwayse styled works on that subject 1 Gross etc

9° An abreaged history of the R. C. Ecclesiastical hierarchy in favour of Catecumens, or some otherwyse styled English works on that subject, if to be had, a few volumes

10° The Natural Eights and Privileges of the R. C Church by I beleave and Irish R. C. Clergiman, or other approuved work of that import, if to be had. a few Dozens.

11 The Private or secret correspondential Letters or answers from a R Catholic Clergyman to another of the Church of England by a few Dozens

12 The R. C. Ministerial Ceremonial, or a work explaining the Church service (in english) if to be had. A few Dozens

13 Ancient Canons or Discipline of the R. C. Church. A few volumes.

14 The Martirology or some small abreaged histories of the Martyrs if to be had A few Dozens.

15 Some few abreaged Lives of the Saints So many Dozens

16 The approuved roman Catholic english Bible with the appocripha and New testaments, both of the Roman vulgate. of the big or small size, so many Grosses etc —

and with some others R. C. religious Books as some of the anglo-american roman C. Ecclesiastical authority would recommend— ut supra jam dictum est, as above said—

Yours &c

Juan Francisco Buchetti