A Mission Too Far (PDF)
A good historian, it has been said, is a prophet in reverse. The perceptive historian has the ability to look back at the past, identify issues overlooked by others, all the while stimulating the reader to search for the implications in the present of what has been discovered. Jan Snijders is such a prophet in reverse. He brings his shrewd intuitions and scholarly reflections to the ma- terial of this book as no previous writer on Colin’s leadership in 1835–1841 has so far been able to achieve. This is a landmark book for historians, but more than that as well. It is the first in-depth scholarly publication on Father Jean-Claude Colin as the French founder of the Marist Missions in the South Pacific. It is an enthrall- ing read for anyone who wonders how French countrymen coped when trying to open a Catholic mission in the New Zealand and in the Polyne- sian Islands of the 1830s and 1840s. And anyone interested in cross-cultural processes will get a very close look at the culture contacts between French Catholics, Polynesian people and British settlers, all pursuing their own ob- jectives. From the Foreword by Gerald A Arbuckle, sm
Jan Snijders, born in the Netherlands in 1928, was professed in the Society of Mary in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1953. The same year he was sent out to the Solomon Islands where he worked as a missionary on the islands of Makira (San Cristoval) and Malaita. From 1967 to 1970 he was involved in the training of catechists and teachers for village schools. From 1971 to 1981 he was a member of the general administration of the Marist Fathers where he took a special interest in the foreign missions of the Society. During 1982 he had a sabbatical during which he obtained his doctorate in philosophy. From 1983 to 1987 he was a lecturer of philosophy in Holy Spirit Seminary, Bomana, Papua New Guinea. At the end of 1987 he returned to his home country and was provincial of the Marist Fathers in the Netherlands until 1994 and provincial bursar until 2004. After his retirement he started a study of the founder of the Society of Mary, John-Claude Colin, and especially of the founder’s involvement in the beginning and the administration of the Pacific Missions.
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