17. To his Father, Vincent

Dear Father,1

Without even noticing it, we have already spent half a month of our vacation in the most healthy and happy atmosphere imaginable. We have total control of the twenty-four hours to sleep, study, carry on a conversation, pray, eat, and be free from any distraction. Everything is proceeding in the best way possible: The Bishop is happy because he has heard no complaint about us, the staff of the Cathedral is also happy because we go there every day to offer our services; and we too are happy because we can see that everything goes exactly as we had planned. The manager of our boarding house two days ago was transferred to a better job2 in the country side and we are now well settled at the seminary table with lunch and supper for the modest price of thirty francs per month. This is best we could have hoped so as to be less disturbed3.

Binelli4 took possession of the parish last Wednesday. His pastor has come to ask the Bishop again to assign me as his associate pastor, but he was told that I would not be available. This caused all kinds of rumors, but nobody knows anything for sure.

The pastor of Scurzolengo5 has died. The parish is one of the sickest in the Diocese for reason of its endowments.  Therefore, soon there will be another associate pastor’s post available.

Our pastor, I suppose, should be back by now from his St. Ignatius’ retreat. May I ask you to stop by for a visit, whenever convenient, to let him know why I’m not in town. Tell him I had hoped to see him as he was going to or coming back from the retreat and that I will pay him a visit very soon. Here there is no news except that the heat is making itself felt very fast after the last rain. I’m glad because it will do some good to the crops. I would like to ask you to send me by Wednesday by means of putia6 some bed sheets, towels, napkins, etc., to have a change of laundry. I don’t think I will be able to see you next Wednesday because I suppose you will all be busy still with the threshing of wheat. In any case, I’ll be waiting for a visit soon and it is not out of the question that I may make a short visit to San Martino myself. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the pastor and then let me know about it.

I have to close because my classmates are waiting for me for the Liturgy of the Hours and I’ve already taken too much advantage of their patience. Everything that I don’t have time to say now we will talk about in person although nothing has changed from twelve days ago. May I ask you not to divulge the content of this letter for reason we already discussed on other occasions.

Let nobody know anything until the facts are out in the open. One single word could stir up the curiosity of wanting to know what as of now is still in the hands of God. Therefore, please keep this letter under key as you would do for my previous one.

Now I close for good and saying goodbye with my sincerest and heartfelt affection, I remain


your beloved son

Cleric Deacon Joseph


I remind you again to send me some laundry because I am really down to nothing.

  1. Vincent Marello Was Born On November 10, 1807 In San Martino Tanaro, The Firstborn Son Of John Giuseppe Marello And Lucia Maria Barbero. Moving To Turin In 1825, He Married His First Wife, Mary Magdalene Luisa Secco, And After She Died Leaving No Children, He Married Anna Maria Viale (February 26, 1843), With Whom He Had Two Boys, Joseph And Victor. After The Death Of Anna Maria In 1848, He Moved Back To San Martino Tanaro With His Two Boys In 1852 At The Age Of 45. In The Year In Which This Letter Was Written He Was 60 Years Old. 

  2. This is referring to the seminary treasurer who was transferred to parish ministry. 

  3. Since his father had to pay the seminary costs, Marello gives him an update on them. 

  4. Fr. Antonio Binelli, from Antignano, had been ordained a priest on September 24, 1864. After having been parochial vicar in Costigliole, in 1868, he was sent to Montaldo Scarampi. The pastor of Costigliole had asked the Bishop to have Marello assigned to his parish but was told “He is not available”. 

  5. A large parish between Portacomaro and Castagnole Monferrato. 

  6. A word in the Piedmontese dialect: it means “girl”.