it. I am fully confident the President and Your Excellency will do all in your power to show that you would in no way lay heavier burdens on the shoulders of some citizens than of others. The law is hard on religions, because it is in contradiction with their vows, with their vocation, with their entire condition of life. This is not a mere caprice, dear sir; it is a moral axiom and always have been, not only with international law, of the law of all nations of the Christian world. The clergy has nowhere an obligation or a right to go to war, and in the Catholic Church such clergymen who would go to war are ipso facto made unfit to exercise their holy functions; so much worse is their condition if they happen to be members of a religious order. Therefore we are surely in a very bad difficulty us to take up arms. This is plain.
But besides this moral point of the question there is also a material point, under which the law strikes a hard blow at the religious orders. I am not authorized to speak for religious orders in general, and do not pretend to speak for all, but I beg leave to explain my own case.
The Benediction order consists of brothers, clergymen in minor orders, and priests. These classes of monks are bound by the very same vows, butt hey have different occupations. The priests are either pastors of congregations or professors in colleges. The younger clergymen in minor orders are partly finishing yet their own education; partly teaching languages, such as Latin, Greek, &c., or other branches, according to their talent and efficiency. The brothers to the housework (since we have no females in our houses) and tend to different trades necessary or useful for our institution. Of coursdmitted than needed, and therefore scarcely any one an be spared, because all are needed. Take the cook, the baker, the gardener, the mile, the engineer, the blacksmith, the mechanic from among us, and you do us the very greatest harm. Another man may easily fill out such a post with another good hand, but with us this won"t do, because we could hardly find a man who is willing to liver according to our rule, which is rather severe, and then we are obliged to work gratuitously without wages, a thing that men don"t like to do. So if I had to give up one of these young clergymen who teach in the college our Latin scholars, or mathematics, &c., they could in another college easily be replaced by another good teacher, but with us it is the same difficulty as with the brothers. We need one who follows our rule and makes no charges, and such are difficult to be found.
Of course if I say we work gratis, we get no wages, one might infer that the order then must be very rich, because every one tries to earn something, though he is forbidden by his vow to keep his earnings for himself. Icase, sir, if the order were rich, I should not trouble you with a petition for exemption, for the law admits of exemption by paying $300. I would pay then for such who might be drafted. However, we are not rich. We own a good property, it is true, but we have a heavy debt of nearly $30,000 on it. We are a charitable corporation, incorporated by an act of Legislature 19th of April, 1863, for the purpose of tending to sick, destitute, and dependent persons, the care of orphans, and the education of youth. We have done our duty in this regard as well as we could. To give you only one proof of it, I can show hat this year the number of pupils in our college at Saint Vincent amounts to over 130 and the boutto income from all of them amounts to but $4,000, so that an average pension for one pupil is $30. Who could keep a boy or young man in boarding and tuition per year for $30? It is true, many paid a pen-