Message from Father Zimmermann
“I can say that throughout the year I was unable, even on Saturdays, to take supper with the others because from 5 or 6 pm until 10 pm I was in the Confessional and sometimes up to midnight […]. I must say that we are well respected. Last week, for example, the City Council had one of their regular meetings. I presented myself to the Public Works Department […] and when I did this the Mayor came towards me, hand outstretched, and in front of the entire City Council called me by name, and many greeted me by name also; I was surprised and nearly ashamed seeing that they knew me by name but I did not know them”.
(Letter to Fr Planque, Cork, 1 November 1886, in AMA 14/1 14.453)
“I saw Mgr O’Callaghan, the new bishop of Cork. As this was my first visit, I did not intend to make any request of him. But he began by saying that he had heard that I had faculties at one time, but that they had been removed this year; he also said that heâ€™s heard that you had demanded explanations […]; he said that his response to that demand was to now restore the faculties I had before, i.e. the same as that which all the diocesan priests have: thus my faculties were renewed without my having to request it. In addition, he informed me that he knew everything relating to our Chapel, that he considers it to be a public chapel and that there is no need to close it anymore on Sundays”.
(Letter to Fr Planque, Cork, 28 November 1886, in AMA 14/1 14.454)
“I’ve had a rough year; how many times I went to bed without eating and how many nights I passed without going to a bed at all except on a railway station bench, without mentioning the other annoyances that were, for me, ten times harder than these deprivations, annoyances that often caused me to cry bitter tears”.
(Letter to Fr Planque, New York, 12 June 1890, in AMA 14/1 14.531)
“Your kind letter and enclosed cheque […] reached me safely yesterday. I was so overpowered by this renewed charity of yours, I had to go out of my room into the open air and could scarcely bear the strain of the joy and consolation. […] Oh dear Mr Blake, my heart is not attached to money, but I know by experience its value and how hard it is to obtain material means so indispensable to forward any work”.
(Letter to Mr Blake, 25 October 1900, in SMA Cork Archives)
“I paid the intended visit to His Grace the Archbishop of Tuam. It was a good interview. Though I am naturally timid, the great goodness of His Grace set me however at once quite at ease. I was enabled to lay before him the work, aim and end of our Society. He took great interest in it, and gave me clearly to understand that our work has his entire sympathy, [and] consequently his favour and powerful support. I saw he is greatly in favour of the noble project you have in view, respective Ballinafad. […] You see, my dear Mr Blake, I am like an open book before you. And I feel less restraint because your goodness has identified you with our work, so that my difficulties are like your difficulties and our success your success”.
(Letter to Mr Blake, 5 February 1905, in SMA Cork Archives)
“Africa is so vast, with such an immense number of Pagans, and the conversion [so] comparatively slow, that it will take as yet centuries to bring all Africa into the Holy Church of Christ. Never can there be too many missionaries. It is therefore of the utmost importance to create permanent nurseries of missionaries, and means of their support”.
(Letter to Mr Blake, 15 November 1904, in SMA Cork Archives)