Financial difficulties during the church’s construction
Father Petitjean made great efforts to raise the funds needed for the church’s construction. You can sense the troubles he experienced from his letters.
The master carpenter was a carpenter from Amakusa named Koyama Hiide. It is said that the construction costs were over 30,000 francs. Every time the design of the window frames had to be changed the amount increased, and it seems there were frequent arguments between the carpenter and Father Petitjean owing to things like this.
In a letter to the head of the parish, Petitjean confesses the internal suffering he was undergoing when he writes: "Please help me by praying that I will not be quick-tempered towards Koyama". In the same letter, he complains about the need to seek donations and raise funds, and expresses his dissatisfaction that the construction was not going as he had hoped.
In the midst of this, Petitjean was asked by the magistrate of Nagasaki to teach French in a language school. Although the wages were small they could help to fund the church's construction, and the French priest was also hoping for a chance to meet any Hidden Christians who might exist. When it was leaked to a local government official that construction work was not progressing well, the very next day the magistrate of Nagasaki sent many workers to help out.