PANEL 14: Visit to the Americas
Photo 1: Portrait of Fr. Paul Albera withof Fr. Paul Albera with Bishop Cagliero in Buenos Aires.
Photo 2: Tierra del Fuego.
Fr. Albera’s Letter to Bishop John Cagliero regarding his visit to Tierra del Fuego
Montevideo, March 23, 1901
Most reverend and dearest Monsignor,
I just returned yesterday from Tierra del Fuego. The steamboat that was to pick us up at Candelaria was delayed because of a mishap, and so I had to remain in that mission longer than I had planned… In Punta Arenas the Salesians have a house which, although made of wood, is comfortable and very beautiful. Fr. Bernabé has an exceptional capacity for building houses and churches. The church, which is made of bricks, is a jewel, and relatively speaking it did not cost all that much to build … Regarding Bishop Fagnano… what he has accomplished in those missions is remarkable. Anyone else, acting perhaps with greater prudence, but with less heart or pastor zeal, would never have accomplished as much, and I dare say the missions would never have come to be. Without the means they have implemented, it would not be possible to keep the Indians united or to help them become true Christians. As things stand, the missions have acquired real capital, and as soon as the debts are paid, if they have confreres who are willing to make sacrifices and are intelligent enough to keep things going, we have every reason to believe that the missions will be able to sustain themselves…